Let independent fibre providers fill in gaps, says report

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Independent fibre structure providers should be allowed to fill in gaps left by BT, according to a report by the House of Commons Rural Affairs Committee.

Rural businesses, schools and households have fallen behind their urban counterparts when it comes to broadband access, according to the Rural Communities report published today. The roll-out of superfast broadband to 90 per cent of rural areas will be delivered late, and it is unclear when the target of universal access to 2Mbps broadband will be achieved.

The chair of the committee, Anne McIntosh MP, said: 'To expedite the roll-out of superfast broadband the government must publish details showing precisely what areas will be covered by BT under the Rural Broadband Programme in order to allow alternative providers to fill in the gaps.'

CityFibre, one of the UK’s independent fibre infrastructure providers, said the content of the report comes as no surprise.

Mark Collins, director of policy and regulation at CityFibre, said: 'We welcome Anne McIntosh’s support for alternative providers because they are the ones with the ability to deliver. It is no surprise that Broadband Delivery UK has not been able to meet the scheme’s original aim to improve broadband speeds to all areas – not just rural ones – which are being held back socially and economically by a lack of connectivity.

'The incumbent provider, BT, has under-performing networks and has failed to deliver in many urban areas let alone the more challenging rural ones.'

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