The new post was announced by ecommerce minister Stephen Timms in a debate on broadband access in rural areas in the House of Commons last week.
A key element of the government’s strategy is to use the combined weight of public sector buying power to drive infrastructure roll out into less urban areas.
The programme will play a big part in extending broadband availability, said Timms.
‘We have quite a short window of opportunity given the imminence of substantial public sector investments in broadband.
‘We need to establish the balance of demand aggregation between national and regional levels, and set up structures to carry out aggregation and procurement in an efficient way.
‘We shall be ensuring that the infrastructure investment will make broadband more widely available to small and medium-sized enterprises and others in areas where broadband has not been available until now, so giving a major boost to the economy in rural areas in particular,’ he said.
Timms also said figures on broadband penetration showing the UK sixth out of the G7 for broadband would be reassessed in the next few weeks and predicted ‘a happier tale’.
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