Slow broadband is damaging the economy in Wealden, according to MP Nus Ghani.
She has co-signed a report from the British Infrastructure Group of MPs as it campaigns for improved broadband speeds in the UK and given examples of how people are being hit by poor connections in her constituency.
The MPs’ report says that despite £1.7 billion of taxpayers’ money being pumped into subsidising the construction of UK high-speed broadband there were still 5.7 million people across Britain who could not access the internet at the Ofcom required 10 megabits per second.
They are calling for the regulator Ofcom to take action over the monopoly enjoyed by BT Openreach by formally separating BT from Openreach.
A press release from Ms Ghani says that in Wealden people are dealing with some “really poor connections and gaps in services” and her constituency falls into the bottom 20% of seats for average download speed and access to superfast connections.
Ms Ghani says: “Just last week I visited the fantastic High Hurstwood Primary School, where the headteacher told me how she is unable to fill out online Ofsted forms because of inadequate connectivity.
“Wealden’s farmers are unable to process online payment forms and small businesses are losing clients because they can’t complete orders quickly enough.
“Slow broadband is damaging the local economy and Britain need to start converting to a fully fibre network so it is not left behind as other nations rush to embrace digital advancement.
“However, we 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 the people and businessses of Wealden so rightly demand.”
A letter from MPs, with Nus Ghani among the signatories, was published in The Telegraph on Saturday and can be seen here.
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