Digital Economy Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:49 pm on 13th September 2016.

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Photo of Karen Bradley Karen Bradley The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport 12:49 pm, 13th September 2016

The hon. Gentleman makes an important point. We are already looking at this and trialling it. The more we can do to use data and digital to enable people to transact more quickly, the better. Clearly, we have the challenges of data protection; we must ensure that people’s data are protected. There is a tension, but it is one that we are acutely aware of and working on.

We can be proud of our successes, but the Government’s ambitions are greater than that. Although 19 in 20 premises will be able to access superfast broadband, one in 20 will not. For that significant minority, the Bill brings good news. Implementation of the new broadband universal service obligation will require the designated communications provider to connect customers on demand at an affordable price. Eventually, technological developments will allow everyone to have a superfast connection, but until then the Bill will provide a safety net, so that by 2020 a minimum broadband speed of 10 megabits per second should be available. [Interruption.] Chris Bryant murmurs from a sedentary position, but that is the absolute minimum safety net.