Vaizey backs Liberty Virgin deal

Ed Vaizey, the UK minister for comms and the creative industries, used his address to Cable Congress to back Liberty Global’s takeover of Virgin Media, signalling it would get a green light from government.

He said the planned takeover would be good news for increased investment in fast access and digital development. Vaizey noted the UK was ranking well in Ofcom’s latest European access comparisons with good speeds, high penetration and vigorous price competition from several providers. He didn’t mention the more recent takeover of Telefonica’s broadband business in the UK.

The minister claimed fast access roll out was progressing well through private investment saying the government’s main role was the smooth the path in terms of planning permissions and access to private land.

For rural and other hard to reach segments the government’s £1.2 billion (€1.48bn) programme was well under way. Talking of the nascent launch of 4G, Vaizey also indicated that over the coming years up to a further 600MHz currently used by the public sector would up for grabs.

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