Hundreds of thousands of homes in towns and cities are at risk of being left in the internet slow lane because of European Union state aid rules.
Ministers are hoping to have rolled out superfast internet at speeds of 24Megabits per second to 95 per cent of the UK by the end of next year.
However this will still leave five per cent of the UK – around one million properties – without access to these superfast speeds.
Of these one million homes, some 600,000 are in rural areas and 400,000 are in towns and cities.
The Government’s is currently using a £1 billion subsidy to extend superfast internet to hard to reach areas.
However, under the terms of the deal which were hammered out with Brussels bureaucrats, the subsidy is only intended to be used in rural areas rather than all areas that do not have super fast speeds available.
This means the 400,000 homes in urban areas will have to suffer with slower internet until internet companies can be persuaded to connect them.
A Department for Culture, Media and Sport spokesman said that “state aid rules do allow for Government funded broadband rollout in cities in some circumstances, however these areas are more commercially viable than the countryside.
Broadband is extraordinarily important – government quite rightly has a role in making sure it’s rolled out to everyone. Yet being in the EU means we can’t spend our money on our priorities.
Once again it shows that sensible plans by the UK Government are thwarted by EU regulations set in Brussels.
It shows who is really running our country when our Government cannot support the roll out superfast broadband in urban areas.
Those affected should take this into consideration when they vote in the EU referendum.