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21.08.12

Fastest broadband in Europe promised for UK

The UK will have the fastest broadband in Europe by 2015, the culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced, as he reiterates that speed of connection should be the focus of internet improvement schemes.

Funding for cities under the urban broadband programme is to be announced from next month, he said. Plans for broadband have been approved in all local authority areas except for the West Midlands.

In a speech yesterday, Hunt said: “I am today announcing an ambition to be not just the best, but specifically the fastest broadband of any major European country by 2015.

“Getting the plumbing right for our digital economy is not just an advantage to consumers – it is also essential for our digital and creative industries.”

In response to criticism from the Lords Committee earlier this month of the Government being ‘obsessed with speed’, he said: “I plead guilty. And so should we all. Because we simply will not have a competitive broadband network unless we recognise the massive growth in demand for higher and higher speeds.

“But where their Lordships are wrong is to say my focus is on any particular speed: today’s superfast is tomorrow’s superslow. Just as the last government was wrong to hang its hat on 2 Mbps speeds, we must never fall into the trap of saying any speed is ‘enough’.”

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