Ian Lucas MP, Labour's Shadow Business, Innovation and Skills Minister said in response to the coalition's announcement on broadband today:
"Jeremy Hunt’s decision to delay the roll out of broadband for three years demonstrates a breathtaking complacency about economic growth. Today’s broadband announcement is a disappointing rehash of Labour's policy. Far from 'raising the game', as claimed, it excludes millions from broadband provision for a further 3 years. Labour’s costed target of universal broadband by 2012 is being delayed by three years and the Government’s aspiration of high-speed broadband by 2015 is uncosted.
"The £530 million allocated by the Government from public funds is being taken from the BBC licence fee and a further £300 million from the licence fee will not even be available until after 2015.
"The Government do not tell us where the funding for high speed will come from. The Government must answer the following questions:
1. Why has it delayed universal broadband provision by 3 years?
2. What is the total cost of high-speed broadband by 2015?
3. How will it fill the funding gap between money allocated by Government and the total cost of high speed broadband provision?
"At a time when we should be doing everything possible to support economic recovery they are slowing Britain down."