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PM's £1bn Broadband Pledge

eGov monitor

19 November 2002

The Prime Minister today pledged that all primary and secondary schools would be provided with broadband internet access by 2006.
In a keynote speech to the e-Summit in London today, Tony Blair announced that more than £1 billion is to be spent on networking the public sector as part of a £6 billion, three-year IT investment programme. Funding will be drawn from that allocated to departments under the spending review settlement.
Broadband connectivity will be expanded across the public sector with every doctor's surgery, hospital and Primary Care Trust given high-speed internet access. Schools will be supported by interactive content through the Government's Digital Curriculum programme.

Mr Blair said: "Over the coming years we expect broadband to reach a wider and wider propulation, reaching further into rural areas and becoming more and more inclusive."

The Prime Minister reaffirmed the Government's commitment to putting all public services online by 2005, announcing that its new strategy would focus on driving up access in key areas such transport, education and criminal justice. He admitted:
"British businesses and citizens are not yet using government services online in the numbers that match the best in the world."

Trade Secretary and designated e-Minister Patricia Hewitt also told the conference that the Government was enhancing the electronic service delivery target to include "a clear target" for levels of take-up.

Read the Prime Minister's speech in full

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