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Broadband: Rural Areas

Question for Department for Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 24214, tabled on 26 January 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of satellite broadband for serving rural areas; and what steps his Department is taking to ensure parity of service and cost with other types of broadband supply.

Answered on

24 February 2016

Satellite broadband can deliver download speeds of 10Mbps and above and upload speeds of 5Mbps. The subsidised offer to meet the Universal Service Commitment gives a first year only cost for a basic package of up to £400. This will make available an affordable basic broadband service to those premises unable to get a speed of at least 2Mbps. The total number of premises eligible for the universal service commitment subsidy had been substantially reduced, from around 11% in 2010 to around 1% by the end of 2015, as a result of roll-out superfast broadband by the commercial sector and through publicly-funded programmes.