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My officials continue to engage with local authorities, local enterprise partnerships and the devolved Administrations regarding the next wave of funding for superfast broadband as part of the £530 million that we have secured from the TV licence fee settlement. The next locations for funded projects are due to be announced in May 2011.
As the Minister is aware, Suffolk is a particularly rural county that will derive significant economic benefits from the widespread deployment of high-speed broadband. He will be aware also of our advanced stage of preparedness in having a public-private partnership to deliver it, so will he please be a little more specific and tell us when he is going to announce the timeline for the next delivery phase of those broadband projects?
I am delighted to do that. We have set aside £50 million for the next wave of superfast broadband projects, and as we hope to announce the winners in May, we will shortly be tendering for them.
We regularly have discussions with the operators on the advertised broadband speeds that they put out. As Ofcom and the Advertising Standards Authority have made clear, it is very important that broadband operators should be clear about what speeds are available. However, I am happy to pursue further the point that the hon. Gentleman raises.
Yes. It is important to emphasise that even in an area where, in theory, superfast broadband already exists, there will still be patches where the broadband connections are not as good. That is why we have set aside such a substantial sum of money to help with the roll-out of broadband.