An open letter from more than 100 MPs and members of the House of Lords has been sent to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to appeal for more investment into the provision of faster residential and business broadband.
The letter was composed by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Broadband and Digital Communication. Those who signed the letter have welcomed the news that the PM has promised broadband services for all by 2020; however, the letter points out that 17% of the country still cannot access superfast broadband and it is estimated that around 500,000 people cannot access any broadband at all. Many of these are based on the islands off the coast of Scotland.
The letter also calls for provision to be made to help to provide the skills needed for people to make the most of the broadband when they do obtain access to it, with the parliamentarians wanting to make sure that the “digital divide does not widen and deepen”. The chair of the committee, Matt Warman MP, said he was delighted with the level of support for the letter, which came from MPs representing all the main parties and from both levels of parliament.
Although the prime minister has promised a minimum speed of broadband for all, the letter highlights the importance of continued investment. The signatories want the chancellor to take residential and business broadband into consideration when planning spending reviews so that the UK can be assured of a modern economy.