24 APR 2018

Helen urges Minister to 'speed up' Broadband

Helen Grant, Member of Parliament for Maidstone and the Weald, has called on the Government to step up its efforts to boost broadband speeds in rural parts of Maidstone and the Weald.

Helen has written to Margot James MP, Minister of State for Digital and the Creative Industries, following the recent publication of data which suggests that broadband speeds are 27% lower in rural counties than in London Boroughs. The research also demonstrates that average broadband speeds in Kent continue to fall below the national average.

In her letter, Helen has welcomed the work undertaken by the Government and Kent County Council to increase access to superfast broadband from 33% to 94% of Kent residents in the last eight years. However, she has made clear that this advance does not help the properties, many of which are located in the Low and High Weald, who still struggle with very low speed internet connections. She has asked the Minister to provide some detail on the Government's specific plans to increase broadband speeds in rural parts of Maidstone and the Weald.

Helen said, 'In the modern world, my constituents are entitled to expect access to high speed broadband in their homes. We all know that access to the internet is necessary for the completion of everyday task. I am also acutely aware of the number of my constituents who work or operate businesses from their homes, which are reliant on fast broadband speeds.

Whilst substantial progress has been made to broadband speeds in the more rural parts of Maidstone and the Weald in recent years, there remains a long way to go to bring speeds up to and beyond the national average.

Margot is an excellent Minister and I know that rolling out superfast broadband is a priority for the Government. I am sure that she will be doing everything she can to boost broadband speed in every part of Maidstone and the Weald as soon as possible and I look forward to learning of her specific plans.'

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