MP gets up to speed on fibre broadband rural rollout

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Mid-Derbyshire’s MP has been using the summer recess to check on the progress of the fibre broadband rollout in rural areas of her constituency.

Pauline Latham visited a new green roadside fibre broadband cabinet on Nottingham Road in Spondon, and the nearby Willowcroft telephone exchange.

She met engineers from Openreach, BT’s local network business, who explained how fibre broadband works and what a difference it is making to everyday life across Derbyshire.

Pauline said: “It is great to hear Mid-Derbyshire has 94 per cent superfast broadband coverage, more than the national average, but we need to make sure it’s being utilised by rural homes and businesses.”

“BT has already confirmed more than £200 million to be reinvested in broadband coverage. Together with the £1.7 billion committed by the Government we reach the target of getting 95 per cent of the UK covered by the end of 2017.”

The Digital Derbyshire rollout project is a partnership between Derbyshire County Council, BT and the Government which has already made fibre broadband available to more than 90,000 homes and businesses—and is on course for its target of 98 per cent of the county by 2018.

County Councillor Dean Collins said: “Using the internet has become part of everyday life for most of us. But Derbyshire’s rural nature meant many areas were left behind when commercial operators rolled out broadband services.

“That’s why Digital Derbyshire was set up to help close the digital divide, bringing new business and leisure opportunities, supporting economic growth, allowing local communities to continue to thrive and helping to boost rural areas.”