Broadband – it's time for universal access
The coronavirus pandemic has made it clearer than ever that those without access to high quality broadband services are prevented from fully taking part in society.
And whilst many homes and businesses across our constituency have seen improvements over recent years, it’s still the case that meaningful access to fast broadband is far from universal. In fact in our most rural areas, homes and businesses often have no access to broadband at all.
This is unacceptable
Since March 2020 every home and business in the UK has had the legal right to request a decent, affordable broadband connection, and there are grants for those in the least well provided areas.
Broadband is vital for local economic development and job creation, improves environmental sustainability, enhances quality of life through improvements to public health and public safety, and increases access to skills and education.
I’m therefore pleased that the Government has committed to bring full fibre and Gigabit capable broadband to every home and business across the UK by 2025. This commitment is ambitious and won’t be easy, which is why it’s so important that there’s funding and significant legislative changes proposed to accelerate progress.
But this national commitment must be matched by local efforts, particularly in areas that are not covered by larger schemes. That's why I'm working to develop a local broadband plan for the Penistone and Stocksbridge constituency. This will include making full use of Government funding and researching the various solutions available locally.
Broadband service provision across the communities of Penistone and Stocksbridge
Please take part in my short survey in which I seek to find out about the experience of constituent’s and businesses in trying to access broadband services.
Findings from the survey will be shared with colleagues in Government and will be used to identify potential solutions.