Broadband in Wales — [Steve McCabe in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:40 pm on 6th July 2016.

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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) 3:40 pm, 6th July 2016

We have already consulted once overall about this, but we will consult during the passage of the Bill or shortly after it is passed, because we want to pass the principle into law. The hon. Gentleman is right: there are a number of ways of looking at this. We could have, for example, regional providers. If we wanted a USO in Ynys Môn, we might have two or three local providers rather than simply having one or two or three national USO providers. To pick up again on the point made by the hon. Member for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, we may want communities themselves to get a USO, rather than an individual. But as I said, I think the corner has been turned in terms of rural broadband roll-out. We are now looking forward to the publication of our digital strategy and the passage of the Digital Economy Bill, which will set out our plans to help the last 5%, but also be more ambitious for the whole country in terms of achieving a gigabit Britain.