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MP co-signs report calling for urgent action on broadband delivery

LOCAL MP David Warburton has co-signed a new report that reveals that despite £1.7bn of taxpayers’ cash being spent on subsidising the construction of UK high-speed broadband, 5.7 million people across Britain still can’t access the internet at the Ofcom required 10 Megabits per second.  

The report from the British Infrastructure Group of MPs (BIG),  ‘BroadBad’ calls on the regulator Ofcom to take radical action over the ‘natural monopoly’ too long enjoyed by BT Openreach.

The comprehensive report, which details connection speeds in every part of the country, argues that given our modern economy being so reliant on the internet, it is time to stop being held back by BT’s lack of ambition and underinvestment.

The MP said, “In 2016 people rightly expect access to high-speed internet connections. Whether at home or work, fast broadband should be a reality in all our communities. Sadly, this is not yet the case – in Somerton and Frome people are dealing with some really poor connections and gaps in services. In fact Somerton and Frome falls into the bottom 10% of constituencies in the country for the availability of superfast connections.

“I believe Britain should be leading the world in digital innovation. Yet instead, Britain suffers from having a BT-run monopoly clinging to outdated copper technology with no proper long-term plan for the future. Britain needs to start converting to a fully fibre network so it is not left behind the other nations who are rushing to embrace digital advancement.

“However, Britain will only achieve this by taking action to open up the sector. Given all the delays and missed deadlines, I believe that only a formal separation of BT from Openreach, combined with fresh competition and a concerted ambition to deliver, will now create the broadband service that our constituents and businesses so rightly demand.”

The report, spearheaded by Grant Shapps MP, includes the signatures of 121 Members of Parliament from across the House.