Digital Economy Bill

Yesterday in Parliament, we debated the Second Reading of the Government’s Digital Communications Bill. The purpose of the Bill is to enable the building of world-class infrastructure, including faster broadband, better mobile phone coverage and empowering consumers.

Many in Shrewsbury, myself included, will be aware of the intense frustration of poor mobile phone reception or internet service. This is something I have been campaigning on for some time and I am, therefore, delighted that there are measures in this Bill that will address these problems. Beginning with broadband access, the Government has announced a new Broadband Universal Service Obligation, which will give all citizens and businesses the legal right to have a fast broadband connection installed. I understand that the minimum speed will be 10Mbps, with Ofcom having powers to continually review the speed to make sure it is suitable for modern life.

I was also delighted to see the Government has confirmed plans to reform the Electronic Communications Code, which will cut the cost and simplify the building of mobile and superfast broadband infrastructure. This could save the sector more than £1 billion per year which can then be passed onto consumers in the form of lower bills and/or better service.

As I said, this is something I have been pushing for for some time as I know how frustrating and inhibiting it is not having access to fast, reliable broadband and phone coverage. I was delighted to hear these measures announced and expect them to bring real improvements to our connectivity in Shrewsbury.

Please feel free to contact me if you feel I can be of any assistance, my office can be contacted on 01743 233 646 or emailed at