A voucher scheme to help households and communities who suffer from very slow broadband speeds has been extended for another year following pressure from High Peak’s MP Ruth George.
“Far too many villages and households suffer very slow or non-existent broadband speeds, and installing the necessary equipment is too expensive for commercial operators to consider, so the Better Broadband vouchers have helped thousands of people nationally.
“The vouchers are worth up to £350 to help towards obtaining broadband from Digital Derbyshire’s approved suppliers, or some communities have clubbed together to pool their vouchers towards a superfast fibre cabinet.
“But these schemes take a long time to organise and deliver, and with the scheme due to be abolished at the end of this December, some communities such as Buxworth would have missed out.
“I understand from BT Openreach that around 2,000 communities nationally, including several in High Peak, were in the process of getting a fibre cabinet but were likely to run out of time, so I have been pressing the government to extend the scheme.
“I tabled an Early Day Motion, asked questions in Parliament, briefed my Labour colleagues on the Select Committee to quiz the Secretary of State, as well as lobbying ministers behind the scenes, so I was delighted when the scheme was extended to 31st December 2018.
“One of the problems has been the very slow pace of delivery from BT Openreach, but I am meeting with the company regularly and taking up constituents’ concerns, so I hope that all those who have worked so hard in their communities to put a scheme together will now be able to see it delivered.”
If you have very slow broadband – or none at all – where you live, and are interested in applying for a voucher, see the Digital Derbyshire website at www.digitalderbyshire.org.uk or contact the team on 01629 538243.
The Government’s announcement is at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/better-broadband-scheme-extended-for-another-year