Roadmap to Broadband Britain released

The government has published its roadmap to introduce national universal access to a minimum 2Mbps broadband service.

The government has published its roadmap to introduce national universal access to a minimum 2Mbps broadband service.

The broadband commitment is to "deliver universal broadband at speed of 2Mbps and stimulate private sector investment to deliver the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015".

Among the broadband targets were to level the playing field between "incumbents and new providers" by November this year. This would include a review of barriers to entry for new fibre network operators.

Culture minister Jeremy Hunt promised to deregulate infrastructure such a poles, ducts and wayleaves that could be shared to extend broadband, and if needed, to pass enabling legislation by November 2012.

He said the introduction of superfast broadband in remote areas would take place in parallel with roll-outs in urban areas. A decision on whether TV licence fees would fund rural roll-out would be made by January 2012. If so, Broadband Delivery UK would allocate funds after the Digital Switchover is complete in September 2012.

The main milestones were to complete the consultation on freeing up infrastructure (November 2010), complete the regulatory impact assessment report (September 2011), and have BT and "other providers" open their infrastructure to third parties (November 2011).

The details were part of a package of more than 400 targets published by Downing Street on Friday. The broadband target was one of five in the department of culture, media & sport.

Hunt said his top priority was to deliver a safe and successful Olympics in 2012, the largest peacetime logistical operation the country has faced.

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