Government offers Christmas present to homes with slow broadband

ByKim Staples
Using a laptop at Christmas

Around 300,000 homes and businesses with slow internet can claim a subsidy from the government towards satellite broadband this month, as an “early Christmas present”.

The gift is available for certain premises that only have access to an affordable broadband connection slower than 2Mb. The subsidy totals around £350, and covers the cost of a satellite dish, its installation, and a year's subscription to satellite broadband.

It's part of the government's aims to get the whole population connected to fast broadband, and its hopes to make 10Mb speeds a legal right by 2020.

Digital economy minister Ed Vaizey said: "Our roll-out of super-fast broadband has already reached an additional 3.5 million homes and businesses who would otherwise have missed out. We are making tremendous progress, but it's a massive engineering project and won't happen overnight. This scheme offers immediate assistance to those homes and businesses in the most remote areas with the slowest speeds."

However, some ministers have criticised the scheme for being "too little, too late", arguing that the UK needs an overall improved infrastructure to tackle slow broadband - a problem which they say can't be solved with the £15 million that the government has set aside for this project.

Chi Onwurah, shadow minister for culture and the digital economy, said: "Countries like Romania started off with really bad infrastructure, but they have made long-term investments to upgrade their infrastructure while we have been messing about with ad-hoc proposals."

The scheme is rolling out from today across England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

Source: Independent

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