Bob welcomes Government broadband targets

Island MP Bob Seely has welcomed a commitment from the Government that every home and every business in Britain will have access to high-speed broadband by 2020.

The Isle of Wight has seen big improvements in broadband speeds over the last few years through Government grants, but Bob said more must be done to secure superfast broadband to ensure the Island is able to attract digital industries.

“The cost of connection is an issue for more isolated parts of the Island and, although I welcome this commitment from government, I know that there are areas that do not have good enough broadband speeds and this needs to be addressed,” said Bob.

“Therefore, I do welcome BT’s voluntary proposal to deliver broadband speeds of 10Mbps up to a reasonable cost threshold that is legally binding.

“This could speed up roll out in more isolated rural areas, like on the Island, and I hope the Government looks at it carefully as one way to deliver universal broadband to the UK.

“The fact is fast broadband speeds are now just as vital as gas, electricity and water connections to Island business. We need to have the best connectivity, including 5G and full fibre, if we are to attract the digital economy that will do much to increase prosperity and jobs.

“Much has been done by the government and the council but we must not lose sight of the ultimate aim: to have the very best superfast broadband on the Isle of Wight for everyone.”

Presently 93% of UK premises already have access to superfast broadband - according to independent figures, and that figure is expected to rise to 97% by 2020.

However, even with this investment, there will still be around one million premises unable to access speeds of 10Mbps or more - the level Ofcom says a typical household currently needs.

The costs of connecting these premises are high, particularly for the final 1%, which are in some of the most remote regions of the UK.