Gordon Brown pledges that the Labour Party will offer super-fast broadband to all by 2020 should they remain in power.

The Prime Minister is to promise super-fast broadband for all at a speech this week on the proposed Digital Economy Bill and is set to refer to fast internet access as "the electricity of the digital age" which "must be for all - not just for some."

Brown is set to warn of a "new digital divide" if super-fast broadband access is left to the free market to decide.

Brown is set to say the following: "We can allow the market to provide a solution on its own terms and according to its own timetable.

"The result would be super-fast broadband coverage determined not by need or by social justice, but by profitability. The alternative is our vision: ensuring, not simply hoping for, universal coverage."

Offering incentives

Jim Knight, the minister responsible for digital inclusion, told BBC Radio 5 live: "You offer incentives to the market to get to those areas that otherwise they're not going to be able to make a profit out of going to.

"By having universal access to this very high bandwidth which allows more streaming video, allows people to watch TV and listen to radio online, it means that we can also release the business and employment potential of this.

"If you just leave it up to the market it'll only go to into the cities, it won't get out into rural Cornwall for example without some form of public subsidy."

The government is still planning a 50p-a-month levy on landlines to ensure rural areas get equal broadband access in the long run.

Via BBC