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Government puts back universal broadband to 2015

Government puts back universal broadband to 2015

Blames Labour for lack of funds

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The coalition government has said that it will not be able to complete the rollout of broadband across the UK until 2015.

Under the previous Labour government’s original plans, everyone in the UK would have had access to 2 megabits per second broadband by 2012.

However, speaking at a Broadband Delivery UK conference at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, culture secretary Jeremy Hunt blamed Labour for not providing enough funding for the initiative.

According to the Financial Times, Hunt said that although he supported the scheme, he was not convinced that Labour had put “sufficient” funding in place. He described the 2015 target as “more realistic”.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) said it was “disappointed and shocked” by the decision to delay the rollout.

William Worsley, CLA president, said: “It will seriously compromise the ability of the rural economy to succeed in the future. Without universal broadband it will become far harder for rural business to compete effectively with businesses in urban areas. “

Last week, Hunt revealed a potential plan which involved using water, gas and electricity ducts to create the “best superfast broadband network in Europe”.

The government is considering using the BBC Licence fee to pay for the rollout of super-fast broadband in the UK. This replaces the ‘broadband tax’ that Labour proposed as funding.

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