Superfast Broadband — [Mark Pritchard in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:48 pm on 24th June 2015.

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Photo of Ed Vaizey Ed Vaizey Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy (Jointly with Department for Business, Innovation and Skills), Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy (Jointly with Department for Culture Media and Sport) 3:48 pm, 24th June 2015

I will. Take-up is extremely important and the good thing is that take-up brings money back into the scheme. For example, the money set aside to get superfast broadband to Cornwall was due to get coverage to 80%, but because of high levels of take-up we have reached 95%.

My hon. Friend Kevin Hollinrake—I got his constituency spectacularly wrong; I hope he will forgive me—mentioned other jurisdictions. He will be pleased to know that the previous Australian Government lost the election because their broadband plan was so poor. If he believes that those Australian plans will happen, he will have to think again. They are busily trying to revise their programme because it was far too expensive and due to deliver far too late.

All my hon. Friends will have the note from the Library that puts us first in almost every category in terms of the big five in the EU. Analysis published today by Enders Analysis again puts us top on access to speeds of 30 megabits. We are beating the Germans, the French, the Italians and the Spanish on that as well as on average internet connection speed. Because that scheme has been so successful, we have gone on to phase 2, which is 95% coverage. That is also why we have signed almost every single contract apart from Devon and Somerset, which I hope we will sign on Friday. We can then get on to start planning how we will get to 95%.