Debate on Superfast Broadband

On Monday 12 October, I attended a debate in the Chamber regarding the variations in effectiveness of roll-out of fixed and mobile superfast broadband in different parts of the UK. I was unable to speak during the debate due to it being heavily over-subscribed, with a 4 minute time limit on those who did speak.

The Government gave the following reassurances.

The Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy (Mr Edward Vaizey): We said that we would deliver superfast broadband to 90% of homes and businesses in the country by the end of 2015. That is exactly what we will do.”

“We are now going further. We have said that we will get to 95% of homes and businesses by the end of 2017. I am confident that we will deliver that as well.”

“My hon. Friends are, of course, interested in the remaining 5%. I have written to all hon. Members setting out where broadband has got to in their constituencies in the last quarter, how many homes are being connected and, importantly, how many homes are not being connected. I am prepared to sit down with all my hon. Friends and visit their constituencies over the next six months to discuss areas that are not getting broadband, so that we can work together to deliver it.”

“It is no secret that we are looking at a universal service obligation, and we will not be tied to some piddling European target of 5 megabits. No, when we look at a universal service obligation we will look at a British universal service obligation to deliver the kind of British broadband speeds that British citizens and businesses require. Over the last four years we have delivered that to more than 3 million homes and businesses, and we are fast approaching 4 million. We are hitting our targets time and again.”

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