SUGDEN CALLS FOR RURAL BROADBAND IMPROVEMENTS
‘I am frustrated at the lack of broadband available to so many of my constituents who live in rural areas. As we become more and more reliant on the internet for so much of our daily lives, it is not acceptable that so many residents are unable to get a reliable internet connection.
A lack of internet connection can have such a huge impact on people’s lives. I’ve had constituents who have had to rent office space purely because they can not run their business from home without the internet, their children have been unable to do their homework and they are unable to access a range of services that those in towns and cities can access. To me that is unacceptable, especially considering we have a government that is currently rolling out Universal Credit as a ‘digital only’ system and pushing us all towards a digital way of life.
This has been an issue that I have raised countless times with the Department for the Economy, which is why I’m so disappointed that their current programme is not delivering the results it should be for many of my constituents. This current Superfast Broadband Scheme has upgraded a lot of the equipment, but it has not tackled the core issue that homes in rural areas are too spread out to enable them to benefit from the upgrades.
I am urging the Department for the Economy to take this issue seriously and look at the failings of its current programme in order to develop a strategy that will deliver for so many rural residents.’