Sir Graham Watson MEP Welcomes EU Proposals for £8 billion investment in broadband

October 19, 2011 5:49 PM

South West Euro-MP for the Liberal Democrats Sir Graham Watson has welcomed the European Commission's announcement for a multi billion pound investment in rural broadband to bring all homes up to a 30 Megabits per second speed (Mbps) by 2020.

The announcement is part of a package of measures designed to boost economic growth through encouraging paralleled private investment as well as bringing areas such as South West England up to par with the big cities and the capital.

The government, alongside European Regional Development funds, has invested hundreds of millions of pounds across the South West in upgrading exchanges as it aims to make theUKthe fastest inEurope.

Commenting, Sir Graham said, ''alongside the coalition government, the European Union has made high speed broadband one of its top priorities for the next decade. For too long areas such as [add locality as required] have not been able to reach their full potential because the technology is not there to support businesses in the same way as many big cities can across the country.''

''Public investment is vital as too often private companies sell rural areas short due to the lack of a good profit margin in comparison with densely populated areas.''

'"It is important, in the current economic climate, that there is investment in infrastructure, especially in areas which encourage growth. We are falling behind developing economies such as China and Turkey which who are ploughing huge resources into upgrading internet services and transport. For this reason I wholeheartedly support the Commission's digital agenda to assist in diversifying our economy and modernising our tools for growth."

If agreed, investment is due to start from 2014.