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Britain will have best broadband in Europe by 2015, promises Jeremy Hunt, in £830m investment

Tim Montgomerie

HUNT Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt will today publish "Britain's Superfast Broadband Future", an £830 million project to give Britain the best broadband network in Europe by 2015. "Fibre" upgrades, reports The Telegraph, "will allow internet service providers to routinely offer packages with speeds of up to 100 megabits per second".

Interviewed on Radio 4 (and inappropriately introduced by Jim Naughtie) Mr Hunt quoted a Nesta report which believes that "the provision of universal super-fast broadband could directly create 600,000 new jobs, with £18 billion added to GDP."

In a statement Mr Hunt said:

"A superfast network will be the foundation for a new economic dynamism, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and adding billions to our GDP. But it is not just about the economy, around the world there are countless examples of superfast broadband helping to build a fairer and more prosperous society, and to transform the relationship between Government and citizens."

Rather than leaving the investment to the private sector alone, the Coalition is getting involved because of the need to ensure full, fair and geographically equitable access. Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has said that the broadband plan is "probably the single most important thing we can do to ensure the sustainability of our rural communities in the 21st century".

12.15pm WATCH: Jeremy Hunt explains Coalition plans to invest in superfast broadband

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