POLITICALLY SPEAKING: Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett has his say on high speed broadband

High speed, reliable broadband is essential for communities and businesses in and around Hemsworth.

Wednesday, 11th May 2016, 11:22 am
Updated Wednesday, 11th May 2016, 1:25 pm
Featherstone based businesses Icon Office Design and Bram Racing are angry and bemused at BT's decision not to put in place high speed broadband for certain areas of Green Lane Industrial estate, Featherstone. Pictured L to R) Local MP Jon Trickett, Michelle Hall - owner of Bram Racing and Jon Wesson - owner of of Icon Office Design. p312a408

However broadband provision is often inadequate in rural areas such as ours.

In 2013 I took up the case of a business in Green Lane that was struggling to expand because of poor broadband access.

That business delivered 40 per cent of its services overseas, as far away as Adelaide, Australia. But BT hadn’t included Green Lane in its upgrades.

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The government should be leading the way in helping rural communities to unlock their potential, but this government is dragging its feet. Recently, ministers announced that they would not be extending basic broadband automatically to the final five percent of the UK who have not got it.

Instead, more than one million homes, and countless businesses, will have to request a high speed broadband connection themselves. They may even have to wait for four years before they are entitled to make a request. To add insult to injury, some may have to pay extra to cover the cost of connecting.

The Tories suggest that some people living in rural areas do not want to be connected. Nothing could be further from the truth. Children in Hemsworth want high speed broadband to get on with their school work; families want to stay in touch with loved ones; businesses want to grow.

That’s why I’m calling on the government to reinvest the £258million windfall they recently received from BT on boosting rural broadband. BT handed back the cash after an unexpected surge in demand for fast internet.

The government should take this opportunity to meet the demands of communities like Hemsworth and invest in reaching that final five percent.

If you would like to discuss this issue, or any other matter of concern, there are a number of ways you can get in touch with me.

You can drop into my office, at Moorthorpe Railway Station, from 9.30am to 4pm Monday to Friday or call 01977 655695.

You can email me at [email protected] or Tweet @jon_trickett

Alternatively, there is a variety of information about my current work and campaigns on my website www.jontrickett.org.uk.