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Tories ditch plans for guaranteed ADSL

'Doesn't make sense'

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The Tories have ruled out enforcing telcos - well, BT actually - to wire up every household in the UK with ADSL.

This non-piece of policy was revealed in a Web chat with shadow Minister for Trade and Industry, Michael Fabricant, at the Conservative Party Conference in Blackpool.

Asked about his view of Universal Service Obligations (USO) Mr Fabricant said: "Technology is changing so rapidly, I just don't believe a Universal Service Obligation for ADSL makes much sense."

Only a couple of months ago Mr Fabricant told The Register that a beefed-up USO was being considered as one way to ensure people in the UK can get access to broadband.

Now he's ruled out this one, other ideas up his sleeve include cross-subsidies and tax breaks. Then again, maybe he's got some more, since he was also asked what he would do to encourage the roll-out of broadband in rural areas should the Tories come to power.

Said the shadow minister: "Some very rural areas are now being provided by wireless broadband and other technologies are coming on stream. The Countryside Agency has just produced a study of broadband provision in rural areas and it is well worth reading."

Yeah...but the question asked what would you do to "encourage the roll-out of broadband in rural areas"?

Oh, doesn't matter. ®

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