House of Lords Select Committee calls for evidence on superfast broadband

The House of Lords has called for an inquiry into the UK’s superfast broadband rollout targets. Government is committed to achieving the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015, with 90% of households having access to superfast broadband, and a good level of access of at least 2Mbps for everyone else.

In 2010, the Government set out plans for Britain to have “the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015” and with ever-increasing demand for bandwidth, the Committee want to find out more about the thinking behind and progress with the Government’s broadband strategy.

Call for Evidence ( PDF 132 KB)

Policy debate surrounding superfast broadband has implications for a very broad range of people, from citizens, consumers and innovative business in both towns and rural communities, to network providers, regulators and the Government. The Committee aims to hear from any interested organisations and individuals and have asked for written evidence on areas including:

  • What changes in the use of digital communications can be anticipated over the next 20 years, and how should these affect strategic investment in our digital infrastructure?
  • Is the Government’s investment being effectively applied to develop maximum social and economic benefit?
  • Is speed the best way of monitoring this?
  • What is being done to prevent a digital backwater in areas where the roll out of superfast broadband isn’t commercially attractive?
  • What role could or should the different methods of delivery play in ensuring the superfast broadband network is fit for purpose?

Lord Inglewood, Chairman of the Communications Committee, discusses the new inquiry in more detail on YouTube, and commented:

“Superfast broadband is clearly an important development across Britain, not just for economic growth but also because it will impact on how people do things such as view media content, shop and even access healthcare. We want to look into the Government’s proposals to find out if its targets are likely to be met and whether it is being ambitious enough in its plans. Issues such as investment, Britain’s market in fibre optic products and whether the advances in broadband provision will require regulatory changes are all things that need to be looked at to ensure the strategy works.”

Further information

House of Lords Communications Select Committee