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Spend HS2 investment on broadband instead

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There has been much debate recently about the controversial High Speed 2 (HS2) rail link in order to connect the north of the country with London.

As many residents in areas which are to see high speed trains going through them are opposed to the plans, it is widely considered that the move would be good for business.

But in an age when many companies are moving towards video conferencing in an attempt to cut back on business travel expenses, is HS2 really needed?

Critics are suggesting that the money to be spent on the project would be better put into more consistent broadband coverage, as opposed to the rail link.

Connecting London and Birmingham could be achieved in a cheaper and greener manner by enabling more people to go online and having stronger signal.

The move would also be completed in less time, as despite plans for HS2 having been given the go ahead, it will take 20 years to come into fruition.

It is difficult to predict business practices over the long term and there may well be less demand for business travel in the next two decades.

Millions of pounds are being put into rolling out broadband across the entire country from a myriad of sources through grants and funds.

When this is compared to the £33 billion to be spent on the first phase of constructing HS2 it pales into insignificance.

In order to provide the whole of the UK with top quality broadband a total of £29 billion would need to be spent, which comes close to the amount to be spent on HS2.

Some businesspeople envisage mass movement in the next few years as demand for superfast broadband increases.

As technology becomes more sophisticated companies as well as the general public will rely on the internet and broadband connections to carry out simple functions.

Video conferencing, therefore, is the future of face-to-face business meetings, not HS2 and the pressure put on London public transport during the Olympic Games is expected to exemplify this.

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