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Broadband: Rural Areas

Question for Department for Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL5984, tabled on 8 February 2016

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact on farmers and rural businesses of poor broadband provision in rural areas.

Answered on

23 February 2016

This Government recognises that all businesses need access to reliable, fast broadband to compete, innovate, increase productivity and have access to Government digital services. Superfast broadband now covers almost 90% of UK premises and this will increase to 95% by the end of next year as a result of the Government's Superfast Broadband Programme and further commercial delivery. Premises everywhere including rural areas which do not have speeds of at least 2 Megabits per second are able to access a subsidised broadband service, usually delivered through a satellite connection, which can deliver speeds of 10Mbps or more.

The Prime Minister has also announced the Government's intention to implement a new broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO) and our ambition to set this at 10Mbps. This new broadband USO will give people the legal right to request an affordable broadband connection, at a minimum speed, up to a reasonable cost threshold, no matter where they live.