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Broadband 'better than Silicon Valley'

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 07, 2013

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A Government minister has brushed off claims rural broadband speeds will remain "woefully slow" by arguing Cornwall gets a better service than in California's Silicon Valley.

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey defended the £1.2 billion of public money being pumped into getting super-fast broadband to 95% of homes by 2017 against claims many communities will have to make do with much slower speeds.

Mr Vaizey told MPs in the House of Commons yesterday that there will "always be pockets of slow broadband", but added: "I was interested to read recently about a couple from Cornwall who went to visit Google in Silicon Valley and found that the superfast broadband speed in the hotel was slower than it was in Cornwall, which is the result of our programme."

Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly's super-fast broadband scheme is funded by EU subsidies, rather than the UK government, and is aiming for 95% to be hooked up next year. Telecoms giant BT is contractor of the £132 million scheme.

A £94 million scheme covering Devon, Somerset, Torbay and Plymouth, again being driven by BT, has a 90% target for the end of 2016.

The minister's response came after Anne McIntosh MP, chairman of the rural affairs select committee, warned that the Government will "fail to reach their urban targets for rolling out super-fast broadband and that rural broadband speeds will remain woefully slow".

Questions have been raised over the nationwide roll-out after the National Audit Office found the scheme is about two years behind its original schedule.

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3 comments

  • REsussed  |  September 27 2013, 9:27AM

    This is just more blatant spin on a weak story line promoting a project that hasn't delivered. At the beginning of the project it was made clear to me that businesses were the priority for superfast as this would attract more inward investment for the Cornish economy. The reality is that residential premises have been made the priority, not just in my opinion, this is supported by the roll out statistics. Is it also coincidence that BT have launched a TV package to compete with Sky and now they have a whole raft of new customers? Its a sign of the times when a story gets published based on the experiences on one couple in one hotel in one part of silicone valley. Im pretty sure there are a few hotels in Cornwall that wont have superfast and I'm sure that they and many other businesses would love to compete on a even field. Bringing this back to economic sustainability perspective, if we have services comparable to Silicone Valley, where is the influx of new business? All we have so far is more TV subscriptions and ways to drain money out of an already poor economy.

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  • cooperfarncom  |  September 18 2013, 4:36PM

    For an evaluation of BT Fibre to the Cabinet deployment in Surrey see here: http://tinyurl.com/os4evcn Expect this disappointing performance in many other rural places in the UK

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  • Tavistock_SFB  |  September 08 2013, 6:04PM

    Never any mention of the 90 percent superfast UK Government Target for the May 2015 General Election now. Boasting about something the EU facillated - how crass is that? What is the UK Government actually doing about superfast now? Take a A4 piece of white paper and stare at it - you have your answer. Even the target of a minimun of 2 Mbps for all is woefully slow. I bet the broadband speed in Westminister is among the best in the UK...

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