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Broadband (Greater Manchester)

Volume 540: debated on Thursday 9 February 2012

We are doing a great deal to promote the roll-out of broadband in Manchester, including a £100 million urban broadband fund, which has been warmly welcomed by Labour-controlled Manchester city council, if not by Opposition Front Benchers.

For residents in small villages such as Affetside in my constituency, the length and complexity of the procurement process for the delivery of high-speed broadband inevitably means that they are being prevented from enjoying the benefits of the internet that many of us take for granted. Is there anything my right hon. Friend can do to speed up the process?

Absolutely. We are doing everything we can, including insisting that all local authorities complete their broadband plans and have contracts signed by the end of this year, which is much faster than normal procurement processes. We want to ensure that we are able to deliver for my hon. Friend’s constituents well before the next election.