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Superfast Broadband

Volume 683: debated on Thursday 5 November 2020

What steps his Department is taking to ensure that superfast broadband is available throughout the UK. (908258)

This Government are aiming as high as we can on the delivery of better broadband across this country. We have spent £1.9 billion on the superfast programme, taking more than 96% of UK premises to superfast connectivity. As part of our plans for nationwide coverage, we are also committed to investing £5 billion to delivering gigabit-capable broadband to those in the hardest-to-reach areas.

I thank the Minister for that answer. In my constituency, rural constituents seeking to use the universal service obligation to obtain better broadband speeds are increasingly flabbergasted at the costs coming from BT, which seeks to offer fibre to the premises when fibre to the cabinet is sufficient to meet legislative requirements. Will he use his position to stress to BT that it should not let the perfect be the enemy of the good?

As I say, this Government will always aim for the gold standard on connecting people, but because my hon. Friend understands the value of connectivity to his constituents, he is absolutely right; on the USO, we need not only to wait for the outcome of Ofcom’s investigation of BT’s current approach, but to make sure that the perfect is not the enemy of the good.