Broadband: Rural Areas

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 17th June 2010.

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Photo of Andrew Percy Andrew Percy Conservative, Brigg and Goole

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what plans he has to expand the provision of broadband in rural areas.

Photo of Ed Vaizey Ed Vaizey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Culture, Communications and Creative Industries) (jointly with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport)

As stated in the coalition's joint programme for Government, we will seek to introduce superfast broadband in remote areas at the same time as in more populated areas. On 8 June, the Secretary of State for Culture, the Olympics, Media and Sport set out the Government's plans for ensuring the UK has the best superfast broadband network in Europe by the end of the Parliament. These plans include enabling access to existing infrastructure to reduce the cost of deployment. Further, the Secretary of State proposed three market testing projects schemes for superfast broadband in rural areas. The Secretary of State's full speech can be read at:

http://www.culture.gov.uk/news/ministers_speeches/7132.aspx

As a first step towards this ambition, the Government are also committed to making a service level of 2Mbps available in towns and villages still without a basic level of access. The office charged with delivering this universal service commitment, Broadband Delivery UK, will be holding an industry event in July to provide further information on the approach to meeting the 2Mbps service commitment and the market testing schemes.

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