A Westminster Hall debate has been scheduled for 28 February on digital exclusion. The debate will be opened by Justin Madders MP.
The Government has a target of superfast broadband (speeds greater than 24Mbps) to 95% of premises by the end of 2017. The roll-out of superfast broadband is led by partnerships between local authorities and a delivery partner who will install the necessary infrastructure. For many partnerships this delivery partner is BT. The Library Briefing on Fixed Broadband: Policy and Speeds provides background on the superfast broadband roll-out programme.
The Institute of Directors (IoD) published a report on 29 February 2016 calling for a new target for households and business to have access to speeds of 10 gigabits per second (Gbps) by 2030.
The Ofcom Connected Nations Report (1 December 2015) stated that while there have been improvements in superfast broadband availability, Small and Medium sized enterprises (SMEs) “experience poorer superfast availability compared to consumers as a whole” and noted that:
…. Only 68% of SMEs have access to superfast broadband in the UK, compared to 85% of all premises; this
leaves over 400,000 SMEs without access to superfast broadband. Similarly, almost
a half of SMEs (around 130,000) in certain business areas are unable to receive
speeds above 10Mbit/s.
The Government announced a review into broadband provision for businesses on 24 February 2016. The review, led jointly by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, will specifically look at increasing the level of affordable and high quality fibre broadband available to businesses.
The initial conclusions of Ofcom’s strategic review of digital communications were published on 25 February 2016. Its proposals include a “strategic shift to large-scale investment in fibre”. This will encourage the roll-out of fibre to the premises networks to homes and businesses and as part of this BT will be required to open up its network to other operators so they can lay fibre cables along telegraph poles and underground cable ducts. It also said Ofcom would work with Government to make access to decent, affordable broadband a universal right for every home and small business in the UK, starting at 10 Mbps.
The following links may be of interest:
Institute of Directors 29 February 2016
OFCOM 25 February 2016
DCMS 24 February 2016
Daily Telegraph 8 March 2016
BBC Online 29 February 2016
IT Pro Portal 25 February 2016
Daily Telegraph 12 February 2016
The Northern Echo 25 January 2015
Coalition of MPs calls for BT’s monopoly of broadband cable network to be broken up
Daily Telegraph 22 January 2016
The Energy was given Royal Assent on 26 October 2023, and is now the Energy Act 2023. This paper is a summary of what happened at committee stage and how the Bill has changed as a result.
Strikes have been taking place across the NHS in England. This briefing looks at when and why some NHS workers are striking and explains the latest pay deals.