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‘Current Broadband plans seriously unambitious’ says Farron

May 19, 2011 5:21 PM

Speaking in a Commons debate, South Lakes MP Tim Farron praised Broadband campaigners in the Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency, and said that Government plans to get 2 Mb/s broadband to everyone across the country by 2015 are seriously unambitious.

With UK connection speeds lagging far behind most other countries in Europe, our rural areas are at a serious disadvantage in both in economic and social terms. The Government's current aim to get 2 Mb/s available to everyone by 2015 is not enough, and a more appropriate, ambitious aim would be 100 Mb/s.

Ofcom is currently carrying out a consultation into its plans to auction off the rights to the next generation of mobile wireless networks. The consultation ends on the future of 'fourth generation' or 4G licences next month.

Today Tim was one of the proposers of the parliamentary motion that led to the debate. The motion said: "That this House recognises that rural businesses and rural communities across the UK are isolated and undermined by slow broadband and the lack of mobile voice and mobile broadband coverage; urges Ofcom to increase the coverage obligation attached to the 800MHz spectrum license to 98 per cent; and calls upon the Government to fulfil its commitment to build both the best superfast broadband network in Europe and provide everyone in the UK with a minimum of 2Mbps by 2015."

Commenting Tim said: "A hundred and fifty years ago, our visionaries invented the canals and the rail networks. Today's visionaries need to focus on our communications networks. Norway are set to roll out 100 Mb/s to 90% of the country. This is exactly what we should be doing. I would also like to thank all the tireless and hardworking Broadband Pioneers in Westmorland and Lonsdale - with their help, we are working towards the roll-out of superfast broadband across the constituency. "