Thank you for your email of 30th January outlining BT’s national plans for its role-out of broadband provision.
I would like to bring to your attention some issues in regard of my North Swindon constituency. Many areas of the central Swindon enjoy the benefits of 20Mb+ broadband connection speeds and with national & European funding to bring decent broadband provision to rural areas a gap is left. Residents in the north of Swindon have a more typical connection speed between 2mb and 6Mb.
As you will no doubt be aware through your ongoing investment, fast digital communications over phone and broadband are vital to a sustained recovery for the United Kingdom. Through lower broadband speed in the North of Swindon there has been a detrimental effect on a number of sectors including:
- Less small companies starting up due to the inability for effective home working by constituents with regards to remote network access and VOIP systems. SMEs still account for 99.9% of all private sector employers and 60% of the workforce; we should be doing all we can to encourage their growth.
- Less access to virtual learning environements (VLEs) for children, students of all ages and those re-training in these difficult economic times.
- Modernised access to local & national Government resources such as libraries, online payments of bills and others. This is especially important as some of our more rural residents and more infirm constituents who require significant travel time to access these services in person.
- Delivery of digital media including video and audio streaming; as well as online leisure pursuits such as gaming and social media collaborations.
I recognise the efforts BT are making with its 21CN network expansion but would ask you to consider focusing attention on the northern sector of Swindon with a specific intention to accelerate the delivery of FTTC and 21CN WBC for exchanges within the region so residents can benefit from an increased connection speed they strongly desire.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Justin Tomlinson MP
Cllr Emma Faramarzi
Cllr Toby Elliott