MP Helen Grant recently received an update from Digital and Culture Minister Matt Hancock regarding broadband provision in her Maidstone and the Weald constituency.
Currently superfast broadband is available to 89.6% of homes and businesses across the constituency and the Government estimate that this figure will rise to 91.7% by December 2017 as a part of the Government's Broadband Delivery UK programme.
This is welcome news to Mrs Grant, who has campaigned for better broadband and mobile coverage in her constituency since first being elected in 2010. She previously held a public meeting in the Weald which then Minister Ed Vaizey MP attended.
The Government funded programme aims to provide superfast broadband (speeds of 24Mbps or more) for at least 95% of UK premises and universal access to basic broadband (speeds of at least 2Mbps). It has so far made superfast broadband available to 8,594 homes and businesses in Maidstone and the Weald.
Those with very poor broadband may also benefit from the Better Broadband Scheme, which provides access to a subsidised broadband connection for homes and businesses which are unable to access a basic broadband speed of at least 2Mbps. Further details on this scheme are available at http://basicbroadbandchecker.culture.gov.uk/.
Mrs Grant said: "I know how important a fast broadband connection is, it is no longer a luxury but a necessity in 2017. That's why I have been pressing for better access to fast and reliable broadband right across my constituency. I am glad to hear of the work the Government has been doing to ensure that as many people as possible can benefit from this but the job is not over yet. More needs to be done to ensure that all parts of my constituency have access to the broadband they need, and I will continue to press both the Government and network providers to go further to ensure this."