The government has pledged £30million to a national effort to encourage the roll-out of broadband services across the UK.
The e-Minister Patricia Hewitt and e-Envoy Andrew Pinder announced the three-year broadband development fund upon the release of the government report "UK online: the broadband future," which outlines the government's plans for achieving universal Internet access by 2005, the government said in a statement.
The government has also created what it calls the Broadband Stakeholder Group, to be chaired by Hewitt, which will be charged with ensuring that a "competitive broadband market becomes a reality," the statement said.
The £30million is in addition to the £1billion Prime Minister Tony Blair pledged last September to implement the government's plans to get all government services online by 2005. A report published in September on electronic government prepared by the Performance and Innovation Unit was confirmed as the blueprint for meeting the government's self-imposed deadline.
"The government has not scaled back its financial commitment to broadband or the Internet as some media outlets have reported. The one billion for getting government services online and 30 million to encourage the roll-out of broadband services are two separate funds," said a spokeswoman for the office of the e-Envoy.