19 OCT 2017

A Modern Infrastructure

Kent Messenger Column - 19-10-17 

A modern society and economy needs a modern infrastructure in order to function effectively. A critical pillar of this must be the availability of reliable, fast internet connection.

Too often, in our part of the world, the broadband service provided falls short of the standard we should expect. I know this from personal frustration with broadband speeds and drop-outs at my home in the rural part of Maidstone and the Weald. I have also recently received an ever-growing amount of correspondence from constituents, advising me of their repeated annoyance with their service.

I was therefore pleased to learn last week that OFCOM has announced its intention to review the code of practice for broadband providers. The new plans aim to close the gap between the service advertised and that which is delivered, and provide customers with more information before they commit to a contract. This is a step in the right direction and I welcome Ofcom's efforts to tip the balance in favour of the consumer. They are currently consulting on these plans and you can make your voice heard by clicking here

However, OFCOM's actions alone will not solve all our frustrations. Investment from Government and commitment from providers is what is really required to ensure tangible progress is made. With this in mind, I have written to Matthew Hancock MP, the Government Minister responsible for the rollout of superfast broadband. I have shared with him the persistent concerns of many of my rural constituents. I have also asked him to provide an update on how the Government plans to ensure that superfast broadband is available to everyone, wherever they live in the UK.

Meanwhile, please do continue to let me know about your personal broadband difficulties. I am very happy to bring your individual concerns to the attention of your provider, or to the Government, and do what I can to bring about improvements.

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