Licence fee could fund part of UK broadband rollout


Licence fee could fund part of UK broadband rollout

Rebecca Thomson

The BBC licence fee could be used to help fund part of the rollout of superfast broadband in the UK.

The coalition document, published today by the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives, gave a bit more detail on their plans to make sure the whole country has access to the service.

The government wants market forces to drive much of the infrastructure rollout, but says it will not rule out using part of the TV licence fee to "fund broadband in areas that the market alone will not reach".

The document was slightly scant on details, but emphasised the commitment to rolling out broadband to rural areas. Despite the Liberal Democrats' desire to repeal parts of the Digital Economy Act, there was no mention of the act or of the Digital Britain initiative.

The document said, "We will introduce measures to ensure the rapid roll-out of superfast broadband across the country. We will ensure that BT and other infrastructure providers allow the use of their assets to deliver such broadband, and we will seek to introduce superfast broadband in remote areas at the same time as in more populated areas. If necessary, we will consider using the part of the TV licence fee that is supporting the digital switchover to fund broadband in areas that the market alone will not reach."

Jeremy Hunt, the secretary of state for culture, media and sport, has been given responsibility for the roll-out of high-speed broadband across the UK. Under-secretary Ed Vaizey will be in charge of implementing the Digital Economy Act.

The coalition plans also mentioned other technology-related policies and measures, including a commitment to open source software.

Email Alerts

Register now to receive IT-related news, guides and more, delivered to your inbox.
By submitting your personal information, you agree to receive emails regarding relevant products and special offers from TechTarget and its partners. You also agree that your personal information may be transferred and processed in the United States, and that you have read and agree to the Terms of Use and the Privacy Policy.

COMMENTS powered by Disqus  //  Commenting policy