Skip to main content


Volume 556: debated on Thursday 10 January 2013

As I have already said, our aim is to have universal 2 megabit broadband available to everyone by 2014. Already, 89.9%—approximately 90%—of people have 2 megabit broadband.

I think it was Ofcom that reported recently that approximately 10% of broadband connections —about 2.6 million households—do not have access to 2 megabit broadband. Further to the answer the hon. Gentleman gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Bishop Auckland (Helen Goodman) and my right hon. Friend the Member for East Ham (Stephen Timms), given that access to broadband is vital to building a sustainable, modern economy, why will he not think about introducing a universal service obligation?

I do not think that a universal service obligation would be appropriate for broadband, but, as I have said, we have an ambitious programme, with £500 million going to ensuring that everyone has access to 2 megabit broadband by the end of this Parliament.