MP Jo Churchill has suggested the Government use her Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket constituency as a pilot area for improving broadband coverage.
In a House of Commons debate on the proposed Broadband Universal Service Obligation (BUSO) which would give the right to request an affordable broadband connection at a minimum speed she stressed the ‘severe lack of connectivity in Suffolk’.
She added: “A recent survey that I have collected in the last six weeks, which I have sent to the Minister, shows 55 per cent of people do not have adequate broadband coverage.”
She called on the Government to ‘show a little bit of initiative’ by doing things like ‘locking’ enterprise zones to nearby ‘hard to reach villages’ such as Creeting St Mary and Moreton Hall.
She asked: “Could the Minister consider Suffolk, with the A143, the road with the worst coverage and the most not spots, becoming a pilot and thereby the true exemplar of how to do it?”
Later, Mrs Churchill said: “Nobody minds how connectivity delivered to them on their phones or by broadband, they just want action. The diversity of the just under 10,000 rural homes in my constituency without broadband requires a more innovative and community approach.”
The Government announced today that efficiency savings and money returned by BT for the number of homes who signed up after fibre-optic connections were installed mean there will be £440 million more to spend on rolling out superfast broadband to rural areas.