Access to superfast broadband is one of my local priorities as fast, reliable broadband internet access is essential for homes throughout the country to benefit from online services, and for UK businesses to compete globally. 96 percent of UK premises are now able to connect to superfast broadband, however, I recognise that more needs to be done to ensure that all parts of the country have the access to the broadband they need. The challenge in more rural areas such as the Devizes Constituency is that commercial organisations are often not able to see a return on their investment and therefore public investment is needed to deliver these much-needed infrastructure upgrades.
£7.2m of public investment together with ongoing commercial upgrades means that 93 percent of premises across the Devizes Constituency now have access to Superfast speeds. More information is available at www.wiltshireonline.org
Focus is now on the "final 5 per cent" - those areas in the hardest to reach places in the UK that are not covered by existing plans. Measures the Government is taking in this area include the introduction of a Universal Service Obligation (USO), so every premises in the country will have the right to request access to broadband at a minimum speed of at least 10mbps by 2020. This speed allows a household to watch video on demand, use social media, shop online and work from home.
Wiltshire Online also includes information about Alternative Solutions which communities might consider – see https://www.wiltshireonline.org/index.php/alternative-solutions
Over the last few years I have worked with Constituents and Communities across the Devizes Constituency to support the roll-out of Superfast Broadband and I held a very well attended information-sharing forum for Parish Councils to meet with experts from Wiltshire Council, the Department for Digital, Communications, Media and Sport as well as technology providers. More recently I have worked with residents in Wexcombe and Marten near Marlborough to help secure full fibre high-speed broadband for the hamlets where there are a number of farms and small businesses. More information about the Wexcombe and Marten project is below.
I know that superfast broadband speeds are vital for everyone living and working locally, and I am continuing to work with Ministers and with Wiltshire Council to make the case for further investment to ensure that we are all able to access the technologies that we now rely on. In the meantime please contact me with your broadband concerns by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org - it is most helpful if you are able to include the postcodes affected and speed readings you may have.
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