House of Lords
Lord Stoddart of Swindon (Independent Labour)
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the building of a rural broadband network is being delayed by the European Union; and, if so, what are the reasons for their doing so.
Baroness Garden of Frognal (Liberal Democrat)
The Government have had extensive discussions with the European Commission about our request for approval of an umbrella state aid notification for broadband projects, including a meeting that the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport had recently with the Competition Commissioner on this subject. The Commission has been concerned in particular to ensure that the provisions for wholesale access to broadband networks meet its requirements. We have provided the Commission with all the information that it has asked for and I hope it will be able to give a positive decision shortly.