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Nine out of 10 homes and businesses in every county in the UK should have access to superfast broadband by 2015, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced today.
Speaking today at Race Online 2012’s National Digital Conference, Mr Hunt revealed the Government’s ambitions for providing everyone in the UK with access to broadband speeds of at least 2MBps and superfast broadband should be available to 90% of people in each local authority area.
“If we press ahead with expansion of superfast capabilities, then we can put UK in the global fast-lane,” said Mr Hunt. “If we fail to do so then we apply a handbrake to growth precisely when we need to power ahead.”
The market is expected to provide superfast broadband to around two thirds of the country and Government is supporting the roll-out to the third of UK homes and businesses that would otherwise miss out. To do this, Government has allocated £530m and County councils, unitary authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships can apply for a share by developing a local broadband plan, setting out how superfast broadband access will be rolled-out in their area.
“We have set aside the money and the expertise to make this happen,” said Mr Hunt. “Now local authorities need to step up to the plate by bringing forward their own plans setting out how they will deliver this level of ambition.”