Helping people stay connected and boosting our local economy
Fast and reliable digital connectivity helps to deliver economic, social and well-being benefits.
It enables home working, home learning and helps keep friends and families in touch with one another.
But for far too long parts of my constituency have suffered from poor broadband - so I'm pleased to be supporting Yorkshire Water's bid for funding to pilot a "fibre in water" project which will see advanced broadband and mobile services delivered via the cleanwater infrastructure.
Rural areas can be hard to reach but under the fibre in water proposals I'm supporting, existing Yorkshire Water pipes would be used to extend the fibre broadband network from Barnsley out to Penistone via Dodworth. This network would deliver faster internet access and better connectivity for communities currently affected by slow speeds and in areas where it would not normally be commercially viable to build new broadband infrastructure.
Penistone and its surrounding villages have been identified as an area that will need Government funding to help upgrade their broadband infrastructure. Through this brilliant project we can help to deliver the upgrades local people and businesses need to help them thrive. And by bringing the fibre in water project through Dodworth Business Park the project makes the site more attractive for businesses, giving them more options for broadband supply. Coupled with its proximity to the major road network, this type of infrastructure upgrade has the potential to make the park a key contributor to our local economy.
The Yorkshire Water proposal also offers benefits to some of our most rural areas using ‘private’ 5G technology to deliver home broadband (called Fixed Wireless Broadband) to selected very remote premises to the west of Penistone. Many of these properties are currently relying on outdated and inferior connections that are unable to meet the needs of modern families and businesses.
This bid, to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport's £5million innovation competition for fibre in water development, is part of the Government's wider Gigabit Britain vision, which will see £1.2billion invested in connecting ‘hard to reach’ parts of the country.
I have written to the Minister, Chris Philp MP, in support of the bid, and hope to see our area chosen to pilot this fantastic and innovative project.