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Poor broadband speeds creates a ‘digital divide’ between rural and urban areas of Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 06:00 29 January 2016 | UPDATED: 07:46 29 January 2016

MP Dan Poulter is continuing to fight for better broadband in rural Suffolk

MP Dan Poulter is continuing to fight for better broadband in rural Suffolk

Archant

A Suffolk MP has branded broadband speeds as “unacceptable” in his constituency, which is rated in the bottom 20% of the country for high-speed internet connections.

Dan Poulter said a “digital divide” was being created between urban and rural areas in some places and felt forcing BT to sell off Openreach to increase competition – suggested in a Government report – would be a good idea.

Dr Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, said: “One of my major concerns for a long time has been the unreliability and slow speed of broadband services in Suffolk.

“Access to high speed broadband is an essential part of our lives in the 21st Century and affects all aspects of it, from education and farming to wellbeing and health.

“Central Suffolk and North Ipswich falls into the bottom 20% of parliamentary constituencies for the number of connections with speeds slower than 10 megabits per second (required by Ofcom). The situation is also bad for business, with 42% of small and medium-sized enterprises reporting problems with their internet connection, at an estimated £11bn cost to the economy.

“We need to start converting to a fully fibre network so we are not left behind the other nations who are rushing to embrace digital advancement. The ‘Broadbad Report’ makes the case that formal separation of BT from Openreach will bring fresh competition and a concerted ambition to deliver, which will create the broadband service that we all need in Suffolk and I have written to the Minister again to press for this.”

BT chief executive Gavin Patterson said more than 90% of UK premises could access superfast broadband.

He said selling off Openreach would “create huge uncertainty and create a weaker company that ultimately could be vulnerable to takeover”.

5 comments

  • Fibre to the house is not going to solve the problem. I have fibre to my home and despite the TV ads of 200mb I actually get 0.04mb! The ISP use 'traffic management' to cut you to their imposed 'UP TO' limit. Thankfully I don't pay for their TV service, how could they stream a HD movie down a line which only carries 0.04?

    Report this comment

    fredjag

    Friday, January 29, 2016

  • I live outside of Hintlesham, Fibre optic in hintlesham but not where I am. I am also waiting on a second line to be fitted as I work from home and need a work line. THis started in November, I am still waiting...I knew when I moved my house that the internet was going to be slow but finding fibre optic is just round the corner and that it has taken about 3 months so far to put in a second line it's pretty shocking..

    Report this comment

    Ranting Mary

    Friday, January 29, 2016

  • Sorry Dan, but you've got a pretty weak argument there. You're just towing the Tory party line. Also, if you live in or move out to a rural area you do so knowing that some of that infrastructure isn't as good. You can't necessarily have your rural middleupper class life with all the benefits of urban life as well.

    Report this comment

    ShimmyMcGee

    Friday, January 29, 2016

  • Whinging Villagers, they don't want to live in a town but expect all the benefits a town offers.

    Report this comment

    m01

    Friday, January 29, 2016

  • Next they will be asking for a large Tesco and Weatherspoons pub at every rural crossroads. Openreach aren't the only provider of broadband its just that other providers reflect their costs in the prices they charge. This is a political attack from the Tories and has nothing to do with improving service coverage.

    Report this comment

    amsterdam81

    Friday, January 29, 2016

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