Peter Aldous MP for Waveney has highlighted the poor mobile and landline coverage of rural areas in Waveney and has called on the Government to do more to ensure that network providers provide better service to such areas.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Peter said that areas such as St James South Elmham face a “triple whammy of very poor mobile coverage, an appalling landline service and geographical challenges”, which leave them at the back of queue for superfast broadband.
He went on to ask Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy, “to provide initial encouragement, inducement and if necessary, compulsion to network providers to ensure that communities such as St James South Elmham no longer have to put up with this intolerable service”.
In response, the Minister gave his reassurances of the Government’s £1.7 billion investment in a rural broadband roll-out programme by the end of 2017, which will provide 95% of UK premises with superfast broadband speeds of 24 megabits.
Commenting, Peter said:
“Mobile phone signals are very bad in pockets in Waveney. I very much welcome Government investment in rural broadband and the rollout of Suffolk County Council’s Better Broadband Programme, though there are areas that will need immediately benefit from this and it is important that they are not forgotten. I shall continue to urge the Government to ensure that money is channelled into areas such as St James South Elmham that have been disadvantaged by poor mobile, landline and broadband signal.”
Since being elected in May 2010, Peter has pinpointed phone and broadband connectivity as central to the economic regeneration of Waveney, highlighting that families and local businesses have significant hurdles to overcome as a result of the area’s remoteness and poor transport infrastructure. He believes that good quality and reliable mobile phone and broadband access is key to overcoming these difficulties.