Broadband (Greater Manchester)

Oral Answers to Questions — Culture, Media and Sport – in the House of Commons at 10:30 am on 9th February 2012.

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Photo of David Nuttall David Nuttall Conservative, Bury North 10:30 am, 9th February 2012

What steps he is taking to speed up the roll-out of broadband in Greater Manchester.

Photo of Jeremy Hunt Jeremy Hunt The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

We are doing a great deal to promote the roll-out of broadband in Manchester, including a £100 million urban broadband fund, which has been warmly welcomed by Labour-controlled Manchester city council, if not by Opposition Front Benchers.

Photo of David Nuttall David Nuttall Conservative, Bury North

For residents in small villages such as Affetside in my constituency, the length and complexity of the procurement process for the delivery of high-speed broadband inevitably means that they are being prevented from enjoying the benefits of the internet that many of us take for granted. Is there anything my right hon. Friend can do to speed up the process?

Photo of Jeremy Hunt Jeremy Hunt The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

Absolutely. We are doing everything we can, including insisting that all local authorities complete their broadband plans and have contracts signed by the end of this year, which is much faster than normal procurement processes. We want to ensure that we are able to deliver for my hon. Friend’s constituents well before the next election.