21 AUG 2018

MP Welcomes Broadband Boost for Business

Helen Grant, Member of Parliament for Maidstone and the Weald, has welcomed research showing that superfast broadband has boosted the turnover of local businesses across the UK by £9 billion.

This boost to the UK economy has created 49,000 local jobs, showing the clear benefits that superfast broadband provides.

Nationwide superfast broadband coverage has now reached 95.39%. Work is on-going to extend coverage, with more than 1 million extra UK homes and businesses estimated to gain access to superfast speeds over the next few years, taking superfast coverage to 98% of the nation. Furthermore, the Government has introduced a Universal Service Obligation meaning everyone will have access to fast and affordable broadband by 2020.

Welcoming the news Helen said: "This research backs up what we all know about the importance of superfast broadband. It is making a real difference to local businesses, boosting turnovers and reducing unemployment and we have seen its positive effect right here in Maidstone and the Weald.

That is why I have long championed the need to extend superfast broadband to our more rural communities and was reassured of the Government's commitment to do just that in a meeting with Margot James MP, the Minister for Digital, earlier this year.

Whilst the progress made so far should be commended, with coverage in the South East now at over 97%, there is still more to do to ensure all our communities can also reap the economic benefits of improved connectivity. With this in mind, I will be continuing to encourage my colleagues in Government to prioritise the roll out of superfast broadband and I am pleased that we expect 1 million more homes and businesses to gain access in the next few years.''

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