Maria Miller to steer UK broadband policy as Hunt moves to Health

By Sooraj Shah
04 Sep 2012 View Comments
New culture secretary Maria Miller for the Department for Culture Media and Sport

Jeremy Hunt has been replaced as the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport by Maria Miller (pictured), who moves from the Department for Work and Pensions. 

The move comes as part of the government's ministerial reshuffle, which has seen Hunt appointed as Andrew Lansley's successor as Health Secretary.

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Miller meanwhile will be responsible for telecommunications and broadband issues as she balances the Culture Secretary role with the Women and Equalities Minister brief she has also been handed.

"I am delighted to have been appointed as the Culture Secretary by the Prime Minister and am very much looking forward to tackling the many challenges that the role will bring," Miller said on her website.

Miller's experience lies mainly within advertising and marketing, while she has been an MP for Basingstoke since 2005 and holds a BSc degree in Economics from the London School of Economics (LSE).

The challenge ahead of her is interesting, as her predecessor as recently as July stated that the UK will have the fastest broadband in Europe by 2015, an ambition that is considered far-fetched, according to most industry insiders.

In an interview with Computing, for example, former BT chief technology officer Peter Cochrane slammed the government for lacking a vision, mission and plan for its implementation of broadband and suggested that this was hampering the UK's economy. He said that the UK had "not a hope" of building the best and fastest broadband network by 2015.

Many others have cited rolling out fibre-to-the-cabinet as opposed to fibre-to-the-home as indicative of a lack of ambition on the government's part.

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