The UK government’s blueprint, Digital Britain, was published yesterday to a chorus of criticism, particularly regarding its lack of foresight on the role of mobile.

It is meant to be the roadmap for how every household in the UK will have access to at least 2Mbps broadband by 2012, but Ovum’s Matthew Howett described it as, “A poverty of ambition for a digital Britain.”

On the upside, as the Financial Times pointed out, “Existing mobile operators’ 3G licences to be made indefinite rather than fixed to expire in 2021. This will help give mobile operators incentives to invest in their networks.”

However, Top 10 Broadband complained that mobile broadband has been relegated to providing a stopgap in the so-called not-spots (where broadband is not available or only at sub-2Mbps speeds), instead of recognising the potential of Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, which operators around the world are starting to deploy.

Alex Buttle, director at Top 10 Broadband, said, “LTE technology has advanced dramatically. Once LTE is in place the mobile broadband experience will be transformed, thanks to connection speeds that potentially outperform fibre optic broadband networks.

“Digital Britain appears to regard mobile broadband as little more than a stopgap or a substitute for a fixed line connection.”

This is despite the fact that LTE has the potential to provide transmission rates of up to 100Mbps.

Another issue that was not addressed by Digital Britain is the on-going disagreement between regulator Ofcom, Vodafone and O2 over how spectrum should be shared among the mobile operators to ensure they can build next generation networks. The two were awarded 900MHz spectrum on which to build the UK’s first GSM networks. They are loathe to give it up, despite pressure from Ofcom which is keen to reallocate the frequency. Ofcom may be directed to impose a solution in September, the FT says.