Mark Williams, Member of Parliament for Ceredigion, has co-signed a new report from the British Infrastructure Group of MPs (BIG) revealing that despite £1.7bn of taxpayers’ cash being pumped into subsiding the construction of UK high-speed broadband, there are still a staggering 5.7 million people across Britain who cannot access the internet at the Ofcom required 10 Megabits per second.
In 2016, people rightly expect access to high-speed connections. Whether at home or work, fast broadband should be a reality in all our communities. Sadly, this is not yet the case. In Ceredigion, people are dealing with some really poor connections and gaps in services. In fact, Ceredigion falls into the bottom 10% of seats for average download speed and superfast availability.
The report, ‘BroadBad’, calls on the regulator Ofcom to take radical action over the ‘natural monopoly’ too long enjoyed by BT Openreach. The comprehensive report, which details connection speeds in every part of the country, argues that given our modern economy being so reliant on the internet, it is time to stop being held back by BT’s lack of ambition and underinvestment.
Mark Williams MP said:
“I believe we should be leading the world in digital innovation. Yet instead communities in Ceredigion are suffering from having a BT run monopoly clinging to outdated copper technology with no proper long-term plan for the future. Many areas cannot even receive basic broadband, let alone the superfast broadband that people need to work and keep in contact with friends and family in the modern world.
“We need to start converting to a fully fibre network so that we are not left behind the rest of the world who are rushing to embrace digital advancement. However, we will only achieve this by taking action to open up the sector. Given all the delays and missed deadlines, I believe that only a formal separation of Openreach from BT will create the broadband service that residents and businesses rightly demand.”