Jeremy Hunt outlines plans for next phase of UK broadband rollout
Secretary of state for culture, media and sport Jeremy Hunt has outlined the next steps to be taken in the government's long-term strategy to deliver better broadband services across the UK.
In a wide-ranging speech to industry stakeholders, the Conservative minister said he is confident that state aid approval will be granted for the Broadband Delivery UK procurement process - which will play a key role in the initiative - this autumn.
Funding decisions for tier 1 cities that have applied for the Urban Broadband Fund are expected to be confirmed in September, with an announcement on tier 2 cities following later in the autumn.
Meanwhile, efforts will also be made to remove barriers to deployment, including a relaxation of rules regarding overhead lines, the publication of guidance for councils on streetworks and microtrenching, and the development of specifications for broadband in new buildings.
Mr Hunt said: "Let's aim high and make sure that broadband plays the definitive role in our economic recovery that we know it can."
The ultimate aim is to ensure Britain can boast Europe's best super-fast broadband network by 2015.