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Volume 407: debated on Thursday 19 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what discussions he has had on introducing broadband to schools on Exmoor in Somerset to comply with the Government's aim of all schools having broadband by 2005. [119611]

The Prime Minister has set a target for all schools to be connected to broadband by 2006. The Department for Education and Skills is working with the Regional Broadband Consortia, LEAs and schools to ensure this target is achieved. The Department has also had a range of discussions with a number of partners including telecoms companies and other Government Departments to identify cost-effective ways of providing broadband access for schools, regardless of geographic location.The Department has not had discussions regarding broadband for schools on Exmoor specifically; rather, discussions have focused on ensuring all schools in the region will be effectively connected by 2006.