The government's plan for UK broadband is neither ambitious enough, nor sufficiently well-funded, according to one industry expert.
Peter Cochrane, who formerly held the post of Chief Technology Officer at BT, told a House of Lords inquiry that significant investment will be needed to make the UK a major international broadband player.
As reported by the Guardian, he accused the Con-Lib coalition's aspirations - super-fast broadband for 90 per cent of the population by 2015 - of being too low.
The government has set itself a target of having the best broadband coverage in Europe by 2015, but Mr Cochrane says this plan is doomed to failure.
"20Mb isn't superfast. It's super slow. It's a candle, while the rest of the world is using the light bulb," he stated.
"The UK risks being frozen out of the next industrial revolution."
He claimed that up to £15 billion in funding will be needed if the UK's broadband infrastructure is to stand up against those of nations such as Russia, South Korea and Japan.
Mr Cochrane said the "great decline" of the UK's relative global position has saddened him over the years.
"True, high speed, unlimited, access to the social, economic and democratic benefits the internet brings is a fundamental human right," he told the Lords' communication committee.
"Yet in terms of broadband, the UK is at the back of the pack. We're beat by almost every other European country and Asia leaves us for dust."
In its submission, the Country Land & Business Association (CLA) told the Lords that the £530 million rural broadband fund - and £300 million pledged following 2015 - is too little to deliver basic broadband to each UK household.
"Even with match-funding from local authorities, it is likely that the government's commitment will be insufficient to build a future proofed superfast broadband network, fit for purpose," the organisation stated.