The UK government aims to accelerate the roll-out of the country's superfast broadband network by introducing changes to planning permission rules, removing some major barriers before Internet service providers (ISPs) for the sake of the economy and job creation, the BBC reports.
Under the proposed changes, ISPs will no longer need permission from English local councils for infrastructure installations on public land. Local authorities will have the right to raise objections only if the work affects sites of special scientific interest, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said. The DCMS is also holding consultations on ways of reducing the amount of time required to obtain approvals for infrastructure installations on private land across the UK.
Maria Miller, who recently replaced Jeremy Hunt as DCMS secretary, said that excessive red tape in the planning system was holding back the delivery of a nation-wide superfast network, a delay that puts the UK's economic recovery at risk. Superfast broadband is of crucial importance for rekindling economic growth and creating jobs. By helping ISPs put the infrastructure in place, the government will ensure the competitiveness of the UK economy, Miller added.
Whitehall is pouring £680 million into the fibre network roll-out, with £150 million of that allocated for creating ten "super-connected" cities. This means that residents will get download speeds of a minimum of 80 Mb/s by 2015. The BBC licence fee will provide £530 million, which will go into improving speeds in the countryside. The objective is to deliver speeds of at least 24 Mb/s to more than 90% of the country by 2015.
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