Statements 20

Sammy Comments On Direct Investment In Broadband To Rural Areas

Speaking during Treasury questions in the House of Commons today Sammy urged the Chancellor of the Exchequer to direct investment in the digital economy towards poorly served rural areas.
While the Government boasts that as a result of investment in fibre optic broadband the average speed broadband speed across the UK is 29 megabytes in some parts of my constituency carrier pigeons would be a more rapid form of communication. Many households cannot get even one megabyte and according to BT have no immediate prospect of improvement.
This service is now essential for farmers and rural businesses who are increasingly required to fill in official forms and communicate with Government Departments via the internet. Despite receiving massive public subsidies BT remain complacent about providing rural subsidies.
I ask the chancellor to ensure that the £400m fund which he is proposing in the budget would be made available to the many innovative and private companies which are looking at new ways of expanding the system rather than continuing to pour money into BT which finds it easier to promise faster speeds in areas where there is already speeds of 300 megabytes rather than invest for the scattered customers in rural areas.
This is an essential service which should be available across the country and there is now the technology to provide the coverage.


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