Britain is awaiting a blueprint for its broadband future with the anticipated publication of an action plan by the communications minister Lord Carter, who previously headed the communications regulator Ofcom. While the government is apparently prepared to pump billions of pounds into bailing out British banks, encouraging investment in broadband network infrastructure has been far from the top of the political agenda. Yet the provision of high speed communications networks in the information age will be as significant to the economy as the creation of canals, roads and railways for the industrial age. The country risks being left behind by nations that are investing in next-generation networks. In the current economic climate, government intervention may be required to underwrite the necessary investment.