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Olympic Athletes: Funding

Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: No funds are provided directly for Olympic athletes from tax financed resources.

Funding for sport, in general, is provided from the exchequer and from the National Lottery and is distributed by UK Sport and the home country sports councils. Many Olympic sports benefit from exchequer grants which are directed towards developing the sporting infrastructure. Funds specifically for Olympic athletes are made available from the Lottery.

Our elite athletes, including Olympians, benefit from funding from the Lottery through programmes such as the World Class Performance Programme, which is administered by the Sports Council's UK Sport for UK governing bodies and includes athletes from all parts of the United Kingdom; and Sport England is responsible for English governing bodies and English athletes. In addition, the home country sports councils also provide lottery support to our top athletes in home country based sports through Wales' Elite Cymru and Scotland and Northern Ireland's Talented Athlete Programmes.

7 Mar 2001 : Column WA34

European Treaty Article 122(2): UK Derogation

Lord Shore of Stepney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the provision in Article 122(2) of the European Treaty, requiring the Council to report at least once every two years on the economies of member states with a derogation from Article 121(1), applies to the United Kingdom; and when the first such report is likely to be published.[HL1048]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Under the Protocol on certain provisions relating to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland of the Treaty Establishing the European Community, the provisions of Article 122(2) of the Treaty Establishing the European Community do not apply to the United Kingdom.

Bow Wave Process: Allocation of Space onBT Local Exchanges

The Earl of Northesk asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether OFTEL's decision to scrap the so-called "bow wave" process of allocating space in British Telecom's local exchanges will accelerate the delivery of local loop unbundling; and what implications this has more generally for the delivery of broadband Internet connectivity.[HL910]

The Minister for Science, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The agreement to suspend the Bow Wave Process is welcomed as it indicates that Local Loop Unbundling is moving into a more settled phase. BT has stated that it is able to resource all requests for unbundling facilities on a "business as usual" basis. This will allow operators to implement their business plans on a more flexible basis and make it more straightforward for operators to achieve the geographic footprint they need in order to launch commercial broadband services. Oftel is also working with BT and operators in order to reduce the timescales for providing unbundling facilities in order to accelerate the delivery of local loop unbundling.

Requests for co-location facilities at BT exchanges are currently being progressed and it is anticipated that the construction work at the first sites will begin around Easter. Orders for distant location from operators can proceed at a faster rate than preparation of co-location space within BT exchanges. High speed Internet access is already available in many areas to consumers over the networks operated by BT, Kingston, and the cable companies.

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