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Carter defends modest broadband ambitions

Stephen Carter, the Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting, has defended the government's plans to establish 2mbs as the baseline for universal broadband access.

Speaking at the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), in his first speech since producing his interim Digital Britain report last month, Stephen Carter said that he chose 2mbs because it was acheivable.

Carter has come under fire for critics who claim it lacks ambition and could leave the UK in the broadband slow lane.

But Stephen Carter said: "The judgement we made was that 2Mbps was the lowest speed which would allow us to deliver most public services at an acceptable user experience."

He said this baseline was a key platform for creating digital government and and digital public services.

Carter revealed that he agreed to produce the report in the knowledge that his findings would contribute to government policy.

"One of the options was for this to be the Carter Review, in other words one of the options was I could have done a report to government," he said. "But this is not a report to government but of government and it therefore is government policy."

He said many reports to the government are carried out in the full knowledge that they are not going to be implemented.

"This tries to work in the real world of how we can still make changes given the issues, the opportunity and the limitations and the ambitions," added Carter. "It was on that basis I accepted the Prime Minister's offer to spend some time looking at this sector."

Listen to Carter's speech >>

Future of UK broadband hinges on Carter's Digital Britain report >>

Government ICT policy confused and distorted, says CMA chairman >>


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