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Broadband Market (Competition)

Volume 603: debated on Tuesday 15 December 2015

17. What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on improving competition in the broadband market. (902715)

It is nice to be back, Mr Speaker. We have a very competitive broadband market. I was thinking about that the other day when I went to York to see TalkTalk delivering fibre to premises. I met the chief executive of Virgin Media, which is investing billions in fibre. There has been an announcement from CityFibre about its acquiring some of KCom’s holdings. On Friday, I will go to see Gigaclear delivering broadband to homes in Epping Forest. We have a very competitive market.

Ofcom has confirmed to me that Hull is the only city in the country without competition for small businesses and households, and the only city among the worst 20 areas for superfast broadband access. This is really affecting small businesses in Hull. Will the Minister tell me how much of the £530 million that the Government have allocated for investment in superfast broadband will be allocated to Hull?

The hon. Lady knows full well that Hull has traditionally had one, in effect municipal, provider—Kingston Communications, which has been privatised—which is why Hull has white phone boxes, rather than red ones. I am pleased to say that KCom is investing in broadband for the whole of Hull without any need for a public subsidy.