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The Minister for Science, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The European Competitive Telecommunications Association report considers progress on local loop unbundling in the European Union. The data in that report with respect to the UK contain significant errors and do not give an accurate picture of the roll out of ADSL or progress with local loop unbundling. Higher bandwidth
The Government's position on access to higher bandwidth services, including broadband services, was set out in A New Future for Communications [Cm 5010] published on 12 December 2000. Both competition between networks using a range of technologies and over those networks will be important. In order to promote industry investment in higher bandwidth services we will redouble our efforts to ensure that the regulatory environment provides the maximum degree of encouragement for such investment. This includes vigorous action to complete the unbundling of BT's local loop and we fully support Oftel's efforts to bring this about.
We have set out further proposals for achieving the goal of having the most extensive and competitive broadband market in the G7 by 2005 in Opportunity for all in a world of change published on 13 February. An action plan--UK Online: the broadband future, (available online at www.e-envoy.gov.uk)--was also published on 13 February.
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