Nicola is supporting local residents in their campaign to get fast broadband rolled out across the whole of her constituency.
A county-wide partnership between Oxfordshire County Council, BT and Broadband Delivery UK has delivered super fast broadband to 20,000 homes and businesses across the county, but some areas, even in central Oxford, are yet to be upgraded and continue to operate at slow speeds. BT have delayed the upgrading of one Cabinet to fibre-optic, meaning that some residents are still struggling with impossibly slow connections.
Nicola is proud to support Gigaclear, an Oxfordshire based broadband provider delivering to rural communities, which has installed fibre broadband to more than 4,000 properties in Oxfordshire to date. She recently raised the issue of BTs performance as a monopoly provider with the Minister for Culture & the Digital Economy, Ed Vaizey MP, asking how the Government will work to improve the level of service from BT. Ed Vaizey told Nicola he is aware of the problems with the Government’s Openreach Broadband programme, and assured her that it is recruiting additional engineers.
In a Westminster Hall debate Nicola raised the issue again, asking what might replace the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Voucher Scheme which expires at the end of March. The scheme enables companies companies to claim funding to improve their internet access, and is run through local Councils.
Nicola is also writing to the Minister to get answers for local people, and is taking the issue up with BT to demand more effective communication with residents and a reasonable timetable for implementation.