This week in Parliament Fiona has pressed the Government on what progress is being made towards fulfilling their pledge of all homes and businesses in the UK having access to full-fibre broadband.
Speaking in Business Questions, Fiona asked,
"There are still pockets of my Congleton constituency, in both the rural areas and the towns, where constituents struggle to get access to fibre broadband, or indeed access to broadband or the internet at all. The pandemic has, of course, highlighted how crucial this is, not least for those in education or business, so may I press the Leader of the House to clarify what progress is being made towards fulfilling our manifesto commitment to ensure that everyone can have access to full-fibre broadband?"
Responding to Fiona's question Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, Leader of the House of Commons, said,
"I am grateful to my Honourable. Friend for that question because I, like her, represent a rural constituency, and this is so important for our constituents. I am glad to report that over 96% of all premises in the United Kingdom can access superfast broadband, thanks to the success of the Government’s superfast broadband programme, meaning that the UK has one of the highest levels of rural superfast connectivity in Europe.
However, the Government are aware that we need to upgrade more of the network to gigabit-capable speeds as soon as possible, hence the expenditure of £5 billion of taxpayers’ money to support the roll-out of gigabit broadband in the hardest to reach, predominantly rural, areas of the country through our new UK gigabit programme. Progress is being made in connecting rural premises to gigabit speeds through our existing superfast broadband, but this is a big commitment of Her Majesty's Government and one that I hope will help both my Honourable Friend’s constituents and my own."