Superfast Broadband: Rural Areas Debate

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Joseph Johnson

MP Main Page: Joseph Johnson (Conservative - Orpington)

Superfast Broadband: Rural Areas

Joseph Johnson Excerpts
Thursday 4th July 2019

(1 year ago)

Commons Chamber
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Margot James Hansard
4 Jul 2019, 9:41 a.m.

I think the hon. Gentleman asked me a similar question last summer, and I am delighted to say that his intervention last year led directly to my recommending to the Chancellor that he include the Welsh valleys in the first pilot of the roll-out of the rural gigabit connectivity programme, so the hon. Gentleman can hold us to that. I also want to mention that the voucher scheme has been enhanced, so that small and medium-sized enterprises in the Welsh valleys will now get access to a voucher worth £3,500 and residents a voucher worth £1,500 to connect on to the public buildings that the programme will connect.

Joseph Johnson (Orpington) (Con) Hansard
4 Jul 2019, 9:42 a.m.

In my hon. Friend’s excellent work in rolling out broadband to rural areas, will she ensure that we do not inadvertently neglect urban and semi-urban areas in the London borough of Bromley? Areas around Down and Farnborough village have woeful access and, sadly, BT does not have plans to roll out the fibre needed to upgrade it. Could she possibly help?

Margot James Hansard
4 Jul 2019, 9:42 a.m.

I will certainly help my hon. Friend. He points out that suburban and urban areas have a really worrying lack of access not so much to superfast, but certainly to decent speeds. We are incorporating those via incentives to the private sector to connect. That is now going very well indeed, with Openreach alone connecting 20,000 premises a week.