Tackling our region’s broadband problem

Many rural regions are held back by patchy broadband provision.

That’s why I recently called together over 70 representatives of small businesses, councils and unions to Newmarket to discuss how we can ensure that superfast broadband and mobile telephone signal can stretch to every corner of our region.

I wanted to make sure that the 10% of business and residents that would not be served by the roll our will not be left out as I believe this is not just a utility but has a human rights element and is about rural justice for the young and the elderly.

I laid out my three aims:

  • That providing East Anglia with faster connectivity can unlock an economic and rural renaissance
  • To launch a special voucher scheme to help rural locations to get connected with alternative providers
  • To access £150M of government funding to mobile telephone “notspots”

I plan to set up a steering group involving county and district councils to execute these aims.

World-class broadband provision in our region could help spark a renaissance of enterprise, helping people start businesses and work from home. The Broadband and Mobile Summit was an important step to solving this problem.

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