I recently attended a meeting of MPs from the South West to discuss the roll-out of broadband internet in our area. The average internet download speed in the Chippenham constituency is 20Mb/s which ranks our area as 432nd out 650 parliamentary seats.
The ability to communicate is a key part of life in our towns and villages for people and business. Growth and prosperity in the Chippenham constituency depends on improving mobile phone coverage and broadband internet access.
Poor mobile phone and internet coverage not only makes it harder for people to communicate and businesses to operate, it also puts growth and jobs at risk. There is also a risk that, in an emergency, it is harder to contact the emergency services in mobile phone ‘black spot’ areas.
I fully support the Conservative manifesto pledge to secure the delivery of super-fast broadband to areas that need it and also the pledge to hold mobile phone operators to their legally binding agreement to increase coverage.
In parts of Chippenham, Melksham, Corsham, Bradford on Avon and many of our smaller villages, people are simply unable to achieve internet speeds anywhere near the national average.
I have and will continue to campaign on these issues and I endeavour to see them delivered. I will work with the information provided by local residents to highlight issues to operators, to prompt them to improve their coverage.
You can check online at www.gov.uk/gosuperfast to see whether super-fast broadband is available in your local area and, if so, how to get a connection.