Broadband suppliers
to sidestep planners

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Ministers’ ambitions to install superfast broadband across the country by 2015 will only be met by “sweeping away the red tape”, Culture Secretary Maria Miller said as she announced measures for internet providers to bypass local planning committees.

The new plans will enable broadband companies to sidestep local authority rules on erecting infrastructure to support faster download speeds, such as street cabinets or overhead lines.

Ms Miller said: “Superfast broadband is vital to secure our country’s future – to kick-start economic growth and create jobs.

“We are putting in the essential infrastructure that will make UK businesses competitive, and sweeping away the red tape that is a barrier to economic recovery.”

The Culture Secretary also pledged to ensure broadband fibre and other apparatus can be fitted under or above private land without long negotiations.