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March 22, 2010

Superfast broadband to all in UK by 2020

Superfast broadband is to be made available to every home in the UK by 2020 according to the Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Currently there is plans that superfast broadband of 50Mb or above should be available to be available to 90% of the UK population by 2017, meaning that it would look like the remaining 10% of the rural areas that would be left would only take an extra 3 years to be connected up to the new superfast broadband.

Mr Brown said:

“Super-fast broadband is the electricity of the digital age. And I believe it must be for all — not just for some.”.

Labour expect to raise between £175m-£200m each year by charging a 50p per month (£6 per year) tax on each telephone line in the UK, with this money being used to help fund the roll ou8t of next generation broadband to rural areas where it does not make financial sense for companies for BT to fund the roll out to.

Mr Brown believes that it could help save the government billions of pounds and change the way public services are provided to us.
One of the ideas is that each person would have their own section on a central government website where they would be presented with all their own personalised information about Council tax, rubbish and recycling collections, doctors and dentists available to them and the local available schools and each persons hospital records.
The idea being that when a person changes address all their information can be taken with them meaning that they only need to update one website with their new address and the other organisations would automatically get updated with the new records too.

Although all the extra jobs that would be made by the plans,, an estimated 250,000 jobs, it would however potentially see the end of jobs for some, as passport offices, vehicle licensing and tax offices could all be closed within 10 years.

Superfast fibre broadband is currently available by Virgin Media and BT are currently starting their roll out of fibre optic broadband (BT Infinity) that aims to have 40% of UK premises covered by 2012.

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