Broadband Telecommunications

Trade and Industry written question – answered on 16th October 2001.

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Photo of Mr Peter Duncan Mr Peter Duncan Conservative, Galloway and Upper Nithsdale

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the Government's plans to extend broadband telecommunications to rural areas throughout the UK.

Photo of Douglas Alexander Douglas Alexander Minister of State (e-Commerce & Competitiveness)

The Government are working to ensure that broadband services are available in all parts of the country. To this end we are developing a strategy together with all interested parties. The £30 million fund for Regional Development Agencies and the devolved Administrations is focused on extending broadband networks to those who are not offered access by the market, including in rural areas. The Countryside Agency also included broadband access and demand in its "healthchecks" on 100 market towns, while the devolved Administrations are carrying forward their own work on broadband in rural areas with our support and assistance.

In addition, we are examining the scope for aggregating public sector demand in order to speed up the roll-out of broadband services to individuals and businesses in rural and other areas that service providers currently see as uncommercial.

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