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Farron: Government Broadband Commitments Leave Questions Unanswered

May 18, 2016 5:09 PM

Responding to the Queen's speech today, South Lakes MP Tim Farron has challenged the government to provide clarity on what its proposals mean for those in rural areas that don't have access to broadband.

The government has announced that every UK household will have a legal right to a broadband connection, with a minimum speed of 10 Mbps guaranteed through a Universal Service Obligation.

However, Tim has said that significant questions still hang over the plans. The government's plans state that "there would be a reasonable cost threshold above which the very remotest properties may be expected to contribute to the cost of the Installation."

Tim said: "In today's world, access to superfast broadband is essential for both residents and businesses. It is a key driver of the economy in rural areas, helping to support jobs and growth. Unfortunately, the government's announcement in the Queen's Speech today leaves key questions unanswered. A universal service obligation is welcome, but the government must be clear about the detail. At the moment, the government has not explained how many people will be required to contribute to connection costs, or how much that would be. Access to broadband is critical in the 21st century, and the government must be willing to invest properly in this crucial service."