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Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 4th February 2020.

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Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Industrial Strategy)

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Government response to the Ensuring tenants’ access to gigabit-capable connections consultation, what recent assessment he has made of the (a) fiscal, (b) regulatory and (b) legislative requirements for BT to commit the Openreach funding necessary for full-fibre deployment.

Photo of Matt Warman Matt Warman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The Government believes that encouraging a range of network builders, including BT/Openreach, to invest in faster broadband is the best way to deliver full fibre and gigabit connectivity at pace. To support this, the Government is implementing a number of legislative and non-legislative reforms to make it easier and cheaper for the private sector to deploy broadband. For example, we have recently introduced legislation to make it easier to connect tenanted properties, and the Chancellor has announced £5bn of funding to improve broadband in the hardest to reach areas of the country.

As the independent regulator, Ofcom has also taken action to promote commercial investment and network competition, and is currently consulting on its regulatory proposals for the 2021-26 period, including how to encourage BT/Openreach to build in harder to reach areas.

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