Government broadband plans 'should be made public'  header image

Information regarding which areas stand to benefit from the government's super-fast broadband rollout should be made public, according to the culture secretary.

The Daily Telegraph reports it has seen a letter sent by Maria Miller, which calls for local authorities to reveal where service improvements are set to take place. She thinks this will be of benefit to local residents and businesses in the areas that will be affected.

An anonymous source told the newspaper: "She believes that people and local communities should know whether they are definitely going to be covered, might be covered or will definitely not be covered by our rural broadband plans."

"Even more important that areas that aren’t going to be covered are identified publicly so thought can be given as to who and how the gaps can be filled," they added. 

This news follows a statement from BT, which said it is happy to reveal details of the locations set to be included in its super-fast rollout, but certain local authorities would prefer to keep the information private.

Ms Miller is believed to be frustrated with this secretive approach and has dismissed the idea that the plans should be kept hidden as they are commercially sensitive.

The government aims to introduce super-fast broadband to 90 per cent of the UK, while the remainder will only be guaranteed a minimum connection speed of two Mbps. This project was originally expected to be complete by 2015, but now looks set to drag on until 2017.

If the culture secretary succeeds in forcing local councils to disclose details about their plans, people will soon know whether they fall into the 'final ten per cent' or not. 

This could cause anger and disappointment in areas overlooked by the government, such as the A25 corridor in Kent, where residents may miss out despite putting considerable time and effort into campaigning for faster connection speeds the Westerham Chronicle reports.

A better option for these people may be satellite broadband.

Posted by Craig Roberts