“Better news about rural broadband - but register now and speed up the process”, says local MP
MP for North West Hampshire Sir George Young again raised the issue of broadband service for rural areas in Parliament in January (Hansard, 17 January) and continues to lobby the Government, suppliers and telecom regulator OFTEL to make broadband available in small towns and villages.
“For those who live in the villages and smaller towns in my constituency, it is most frustrating to be bombarded with broadband advertising only to find that it is not available. For small businesses, a high performance, low cost Internet services is becoming essential rather than a luxury”.
This week he welcomed BT's decision to speed up the delivery of broadband through exchanges in his constituency.
BT has announced new, lower targets for the number of people who must register an interest in broadband before it will wire up their local exchange. The target for Highclere exchange, serving people in Highclere,Woolton Hill, East Woodhay, Burghclere and surrounding areas, has been
reduced from 300 to 250. Since 180 people have already registered.
“Provision of broadband is well within sight. For the Oakley exchange (near Basingstoke) the position is even better. 241 people have signed against a new target of 250, just nine more registrations to go”
However, Sir George is far from satisfied. “This still leaves other exchanges without a stated registrations target, including Whitchurch and Overton. And there will be many constituents whose exchange is wired up but who live too far from the exchange to get the standard broadband
service. I will continue to campaign until we have confidence that everyone who wants broadband Internet service can get it, regardless of where they live”.