York Outer MP Urges Government to Bridge ‘Digital Divide’
12:46pm 20th March 2013
Julian Sturdy, the MP for York Outer, is urging the government to do more to bridge the digital divide and improve broadband signal for the most rural and isolated communities in the York area.
Having worked with a number of other North Yorkshire MPs to secure government funding for improving broadband speeds across the county, Mr Sturdy has been meeting regularly with BT and other organisations involved in the roll out of superfast fibre optic broadband. However, he believes that, despite very important progress being made thanks to government support, “we must not rest on our laurels” and must do more to improve broadband signal for the most rural communities and prevent them from being isolated any further.
Mr Sturdy recently raised the issue with the government in Parliament. He said:
“York and North Yorkshire have made great progress on delivering the Government’s target of 90% coverage by 2015. However, there is a danger that the digital divide could widen for some rural communities in the other 10% of cases. Will my hon. Friend do all he can to push the case for those rural communities?”
Yesterday, Mr Sturdy met with representatives from BT to discuss the roll out of superfast broadband in his York Outer constituency. On his meeting, he said:
“I was really pleased to meet with BT to discuss the progress they have made in improving broadband in our area, particularly since the government funding was announced. I was delighted to hear that telephone exchanges in Haxby and Dringhouses have already been fitted with fibre cable and that residents in these communities can now benefit from staggering speeds of up to 80Mbps.
“I’m also able to announce that the Rufforth exchange will be updated this Spring and residents there will also soon be able to benefit from similar speeds. Exchanges in Dunnington, Elvington, Stockton on the Forrest and Strensall will be following Rufforth’s lead in the autumn.
“However, I remain concerned that, while fantastic work is being done to improve communications for 90% of people in our area, the 10% of our most isolated and rural communities are in danger of being left behind. I want to see the government doing more to improve broadband speeds for these 10% and I will continue to lobby Ministers to try to ensure that this digital divide does not deepen any further.”
|Get the latest local news direct to your inbox.
Sign up now for our email updates.