British Overseas Territories

International Development written question – answered on 13th March 2012.

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Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Conservative, Romford

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to improve broadband internet provision in British Overseas Territories.

Photo of Alan Duncan Alan Duncan The Minister of State, Department for International Development

Good connectivity is important for the aided overseas territories, especially for those which are particularly isolated and cannot easily link to regional IT providers. There is currently no broadband connection in any aided overseas territory.

The Government of St. Helena is exploring the feasibility and potential costs of connecting St Helena with broadband suppliers. In the meantime, the Department for International Development has paid for recent increases in bandwidth of the satellite telecommunications link to St Helena. This is helping students to benefit from distance learning opportunities and allows the hospital to connect to better health service information.

The Government of Montserrat has commissioned a study on options to improve information communications technology. This is due to report later this month.

Tristan da Cunha and Pitcairn also rely on satellite connections links, paid for through the budget aid settlement. There are no plans to provide either territory with broadband connections.

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