UK culture minister Jeremy Hunt has made it clear that major ISPs like BT will not be getting 'blank cheques' from the government to extend the country's high speed broadband network.
During the launch of the government's strategy to connect every community in Britain to superfast broadband, Hunt said that all companies receiving funds from the government will have to allow competitors to access the open network they build.
“We've looked at it very carefully, and we're not going down the route which would allow someone to say they could connect every home in, say, Lancashire but I'll have a monopoly of delivering superfast broadband in Lancashire for 10 or 15 years to get a return on my investment,” Hunt said.
According to the Financial Times, funds to set up superfast broadband networks will not be given to individual firms but to local consortiums made up of several broadband providers. The government has vowed to invest a total of £830 million in order to make the UK the best place for broadband in Europe over the coming years.