The Government's intention is to have the best superfast broadband network in Europe by the end of this Parliament.
Local councils are impatient to have superfast broadband in their area – there were 18 bids to take part in the second wave. It is essential infrastructure for many businesses, which will help drive growth in the local economy and jobs. It could also dramatically improve the quality of people's lives.
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2 May 2012
Six major libraries across the UK will be given the right to collect, preserve and provide long-term access to the increasing proportion of the nation's cultural and intellectual output that appears in digital form.
The rural Northumberland town of Rothbury is set to become one of the first areas in the UK to access super-fast fibre broadband, meanwhile the LGA continues to support councils and urge Government to ensure state aid issues for the urban programme are resolved as soon as possible.
7 March 2013
Councils, not central government, should take the lead on digital transformation at a local level, according to Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis.
25 February 2013
New planning laws aimed at accelerating the roll-out of broadband across Britain could also give free rein for 50 foot high mobile phone masts to be built anywhere developers choose to put them.
The Government is consulting on proposed changes to siting requirements for broadband cabinets and overhead lines. Councils have major concerns that the proposals could open the floodgates for broadband street cabinets and overhead pylons being built in the countryside and near to people's homes.
6 November 2012
The report recommends setting up a UK-wide network of ‘silver sidekicks' – older, tech-savvy people who would be paid to go into peoples' homes and community centres to teach them how to use the internet to make digital transactions such as renewing a driving licence or paying a utility bill.
The report estimates that the creation of 1,000 paid roles would be sufficient to reach up to 4.5 million people not on the internet over five years. If just one in 10 of this group can be persuaded to go online, the net savings for government from cheaper transactions could be worth up to £120 million in the same time period.
Nearly half of the 8.7 million adults who have never been online live in social housing. Race Online 2012 and housing organisations have published a collection of case studies showing how councils, housing associations and local partners are supporting residents of social housing to get online.
DCMS published a report (November 2011) setting out the lessons learnt from the initial superfast broadband pilot projects announced in 2010. The report focuses on their set up, preparation for procurement and how the projects have progressed, including work to stimulate demand for superfast broadband.