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Volume 403: debated on Monday 10 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what action she is taking to ensure that internet access in public libraries can be by broadband. [101461]

The £100 million, Lottery funded, People's Network programme has enabled internet connections to 99 per cent. of UK libraries so far. It was a condition of the funding that broadband connections should be made, where possible. Through business plans received from library authorities, Resource: The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries, estimate that around 85 per cent. of our libraries will have broadband internet connectivity of 2 mega-bytes or more. The remaining 15 per cent. of libraries are in areas where it is very difficult to install broadband currently.