Broadband: Rural Areas

Trade and Industry written question – answered on 27th June 2007.

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Photo of Nigel Evans Nigel Evans Conservative, Ribble Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what correspondence he has had with internet providers about people in rural communities who cannot receive broadband and for whom dial-up connection will be phased out.

Photo of Margaret Hodge Margaret Hodge Minister of State (Industry and the Regions)

holding answer 4 June 2007

I have had no such correspondence with internet service providers.

There are currently no plans to phase out dial-up internet. The universal service obligation on BT and Kingston to provide telephony and functional internet access remains in place. This means that everyone who has a telephone connection has the potential to access a dial-up internet service. In addition to this, 99.6 per cent. of households are connected to a broadband enabled exchange.

The European Commission plans to review the scope of universal service next year and access to broadband is one of the issues that the Government will ensure is at the centre of the debate.

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