I appreciate how important broadband is to both individuals and businesses.
That is why I have been vocal in calling for high speed internet availability across all areas - including in rural communities. That is why I recently welcomed Virgin Media's investment in superfast Broadband in Baddesley Ensor.
Reliable, fast broadband underpins economic growth and allows homes to function in a digital age. Over 90 per cent of UK premises are now able to connect to superfast broadband, and we are on track to reach 95 per cent by the end of next year. This means that the UK has the highest superfast broadband coverage amongst the top five European economies.
I welcome Ofcom's determination in tackling issues that may prevent this from happening. Ministers have noted its view that the current relationship between BT and Openreach will not deliver the country's needs for more competition, better innovation and better service and they strongly support Ofcom in taking whatever action is needed to correct any competition problems, however radical a change that might be. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) are clear that a more independent Openreach is needed to benefit consumers and the UK's digital infrastructure. I share Ministers' concerns that BT's proposals do not go far enough and think it is right that full structural separation remains an option.