Paterson challenges UK Govt on Digital divide

Steven Paterson Speaking

Steven Paterson debating Superfast Broadband in Westminster yesterday

The Stirling Constituency encompases both urban and rural areas over its footprint and there is a marked variance in the availability of high speed internet access across the area.

Yesterday Steven Paterson MP challenged the Minister for Culture, Media and Sport ( which encompases Digital Industries), Ed Vaizey, to do more to help with the funding of Superfast Broadband to rural areas which in the Stirling area are particularly poorly served.  “Stirling” said Steven Paterson, ” which is a constituency with so much potential, is currently 543rd out of the 650 UK parliamentary constituencies for superfast broadband access”

Fibre and Ethernet

image licensed from iStockphoto.com

“Indeed, 2014 figures show that 8% of the Stirling constituency only has access to slow connections—defined by access speeds lower than 2 megabits per second. I hope the Minister will agree that we must make progress on this matter.”

Steven went on to lay praise at the door of Stirling Council who have invested £600,000 in the digital broadband Scotland project.

Editors note: it’s worth bearing in mind that the extension of broadband services into rural areas not only impacts home and business high speed cable access but also plays a significant role in extending the reach of mobile data services where the mobile masts themselves rely on high speed access to connect back to the networks. Rural Scotland is particularly poorly served in high speed data services away from urban locations.

Steven concluded “Ofcom currently safeguards the existing universal service obligations for postal and telecommunications services. A similar obligation for broadband providers was announced by the Chancellor, and I welcome that. However, it is important to note that businesses—the majority of which will rely on high bandwidth in order to expand their online presence—will benefit only to a limited degree unless the megabit limit is as high as we can achieve. I do not think that 5 megabits will be high enough and it should be revised upwards.

In conclusion, the UK Government have much to consider in their approach to the investment in broadband…”