20 October 2022
Harriett Baldwin calls for more Government help in rolling out gigabit broadband to rural areas

Harriett Baldwin highlights the difficulty some areas are having in putting together the required consortia of gigabit broadband vouchers to enable the roll-out to rural areas and urges the Government to look a the whole process to see if there is a quicker and easier way to get this essential service to every rural part of the country.

Harriett Baldwin (West Worcestershire) (Con)

T3.   Having a good internet connection these days is as important as being connected to the electricity grid, and yet there are still parts of West Worcestershire where my constituents struggle to put together consortia of vouchers to enable the roll-out. Can the Minister look urgently at the whole process and see whether she can find a quicker and easier way to get this essential service to every rural part of the country? (901731)

The Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (Julia Lopez)

I thank my hon. Friend for highlighting her particular concerns in West Worcestershire. We obviously share her desire to get great connections to everybody as quickly as possible. We are reviewing the voucher scheme and checking that it is working correctly at the moment and seeing whether it can be enhanced. I see from the figures that her West Worcestershire constituency is lower than average on gigabit connections, but we have an active procurement review under way and hope to be able to give her more details on that soon because we will be mopping up all the hard-to-reach areas of her patch.