You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

Govt urged to speed up super-fast rural broadband plans

Written by:
The Government must speed up plans to provide superfast broadband to rural households, a leading business group has said.

In a report out today, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) warned it would be a mistake to push back investment until after the next election.

In 2011, the Government announced plans to give 90% of households in every UK local authority internet access to superfast broadband by May 2015 and a minimum of two megabits for others.

The programme was backed by £530m of matched funding for rural broadband projects and a further £300m, if needed, from future BBC licence fee revenue beyond 2015.

However, in a report out today called Let’s Get Digital, the CBI argued it would more cost effective to target the cash at existing local schemes and a wider range of providers to drive up connectivity now, than start again in 2015.

Katja Hall, chief policy director at the CBI said: “We must close the rural/urban internet divide. It’s a huge concern that many areas still lack the high-speed connectivity that the rest of the country takes for granted.

“We cannot wait another two years for this investment to start flowing and we need clarity on the further £50m originally set aside, which still remains uncommitted. It will be far quicker to invest in existing innovative, ongoing local and industry schemes now to unlock economic and social benefits.”

The CBI is calling on the three major parties to agree urgently on plans for the next decade and beyond – pursuing them with the same “verve” and “passion” that the Victorians electrified towns and built the first rail system.

Hall added: “Broader, faster digital networks are revolutionising how society and business operate, just as the Victorian rail and electrification systems transformed the world in the 1800s.

“The UK has a positive story to tell on digital but we cannot be complacent if we want to stay ahead.”

Tag Box

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Unfamiliar banks woo savers with top rates…is your money safe?

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the savings best buy tables, you’ll have noticed some unfamiliar names lu...

What the base rate rise means for you

The Bank of England has raised the base rate by 0.25% to 0.5% – following on from the increase from 0.1% to ...

How to get help with your energy bills

The rise in the energy price cap from April will mean millions of households will pay hundreds of pounds a yea...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

Having a baby and your finances: seven top tips

We’re guessing the Duchess of Cambridge won’t be fretting about maternity pay or whether she’ll still be...

Protecting family wealth: 10 tips for cutting inheritance tax

Inheritance tax - sometimes known as 'death tax' - can cause even more heartache for bereaved families. But th...

Travel insurance: Five tips to ensure a successful claim

Ahead of your summer holiday, it’s important to make sure you have the right level of travel cover or you co...

Money Tips of the Week