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DR. BROADBAND

Naturally then, you’d expect him to be pretty excited at the news today that the government is to provide £1 million of funding for research into making fibre optic broadband faster and cheaper. Not so.

Actually, rather like us, he’s given the scheme a muted response. That’s because although the research promises to be genuinely ground-breaking, the sum of £1 million is, to quote the good doctor: “rather piffling”. Especially when you factor in that the cash is to be split up between 13 different research groups.

And it seems more trifling given how valuable the research could be. If we found a way of delivering fibre optic broadband cheaply – and patented it – the UK company responsible would become a multi-million pound, huge technology sector player in no time.

But more pertinently, the research could actually yield a technology that could get the nation out the economic mess we’re in. In the meantime, however, we’re left with a government scheme that expects a panacea for pocket money.

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