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Farron Demands Detail On Broadband Announcement

November 10, 2015 3:24 PM

Tim Farron MP has welcomed the government's announcement to extend broadband access to rural areas. However, he has insisted that the government must provide more details about how they plan to deliver this, and must not provide a "second class service" to rural areas.

David Cameron has announced that a "universal service obligation" will be introduced for broadband, giving the public a legal right to request an "affordable" connection. The aim is to ensure that even the most rural areas have access to a broadband connection by 2020.

Tim has welcomed this announcement, having long campaigned for greater provision for rural communities. However, he has raised doubts about the government's announcement, describing it as a "vague and unfunded" promise. He called on the government to provide greater detail about how their commitment would be delivered to rural areas such as Cumbria. It is also unclear exactly how this commitment will be funded, and how much individuals will be required to pay.

Tim commented: "I am delighted to hear the government commit to providing broadband for rural communities. However, it is essential that the government set out in detail how they plan to deliver this. At the moment here in Cumbria there are numerous community broadband projects which have been left up in the air by this announcement. The government needs to provide the detail so they know where they stand."

Tim also expressed his disappointment that the government has only committed to providing a minimum broadband speed of 10Mbps in rural areas.

Tim said: "If the government is going to provide broadband to the most rural areas and to provide the funds to do this, then it should be more ambitious than at present. In the modern day, 10Mbps is simply not fast enough - they should have the same speed as urban areas (24Mbps). By settling for 10Mbps for rural areas, the government is deciding that our communities are second class and don't deserve the same service as urban areas."