§ Mr. Hesford
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he has taken to increase internet access for businesses in the Merseyside sub-region. 
§ Ms Hewitt
Options for high-speed internet access for businesses in Merseyside have increased significantly in the last year.
BT have been upgrading exchanges across the UK to deliver ADSL services. Some 839 exchanges, serving over 50 per cent. of households and businesses, have been upgraded, a number of which are in Merseyside. Cable modem services are also being rolled out, and on Merseyside are available from the cable operator, Telewest.
Last November the Government auctioned licences in the 28 Ghz radio spectrum band which will enable the delivery of internet and multimedia services using wireless technology. Three licences were awarded for the region encompassing Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire.