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Government response to concerns on 5G and broadband targets inadequate, say MPs

5 March 2021

DCMS Chair Julian Knight has criticised the Government for failing to answer how it intends to deliver on its revised-down broadband targets and the roll-out of 5G.

Background

In the committee's report, Broadband and the road to 5G, MPs warned that Ministers risked failing to meet their latest, less ambitious, gigabit-capable broadband target. The committe also warned that the 5G roll out risked repeating the legacy of mobile 'not-spots'.

MPs consider that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has failed to adequately respond to a number of their recommendations and that key points have been left unanswered.

One question not addressed asked for a full assessment of how likely the Department considered that the revised-down target would be met.

The Chair has written to Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, asking for a full Government Response by April 1.

Chair's comments

DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight MP said:

"We raised urgent questions in our Report to Government requesting that it set out detailed plans about how it would deliver on its revised-down target for gigabit-capable broadband and crucially, how likely it was to be met.

"Ministers have failed to answer that key question, among others, and provided inadequate responses elsewhere.

"Today I have written to Secretary of State Oliver Dowden calling for a full response to our recommendations and to points that have gone unanswered. These are questions that cannot be avoided."

Further information

Image: Parliamentary copyright