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ed vaizey detail

The Digital Economy Minister has insisted that rural areas won't be excluded from efforts to boost superfast broadband access.

Writing in the Oxford Times, Ed Vaizey said he is regularly contacted by people who are "desperate" to get access to superfast broadband.

However, he stated that he is is "not at all complacent" about this issue and he is "determined that no one will be left behind".

During the Queen's Speech last week, the government confirmed every household will be given the right to request high-speed broadband.

The Digital Economy Bill states that a minimum broadband speed of 10Mbps will be guaranteed through a Broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO).

Mr Vaizey said this will put superfast broadband access "on a par with utility companies' obligation to provide a telephone line".

"I want this process to be as easy as possible, which is why we are looking at ways to allow communities to lodge a single request for a whole area, rather than many individual ones," he commented.

Mr Vaizey went on to stress that a great deal of progress in improving broadband connectivity has been made in the last few years.

Indeed, he pointed out that in 2010, just 45 per cent of the UK had access to superfast broadband.

However, he said this figure now stands at 90 per cent, which equates to an extra four million homes and businesses.

"By the end of 2017, 95 per cent of the UK would have been reached, and plans are in place to reach the final five per cent," Mr Vaizey stated.

The Minister added that the rollout of superfast broadband in the UK has been faster than anywhere else in the world, thanks to strong investment from the government, local councils and BT.

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