One of my central missions since becoming the MP for Mid Norfolk has been the improvement of broadband coverage and mobile phone signal in ALL parts of the country, including the most rural areas.
For too long our area has suffered from poor broadband and mobile phone coverage.
Superfast, reliable broadband and mobile signal is essential to life in the 21st century – and with them, alongside improved road and rail connections, we can unlock what I have called a ‘Rural Renaissance’ in our area, allowing businesses to set up in our villages and towns and creating new high-skilled jobs and opportunities that spread prosperity and breathe fresh life into our rural communities.
That’s why one of my key missions since becoming the MP of Mid Norfolk has been the improvement of superfast broadband and mobile phone services in our area, and the county as a whole.
One of the first campaigns I launched as an MP was the ‘Digital Divide’ campaign that, in conjunction with The Norfolk Way not-for-profit organisation I established and a series of Broadband Summits that I held, helped ensure Norfolk was the first county to get £60m of funding through the Government’s BDUK scheme of investment – and successfully called for a voucher scheme to be implemented that would allow communities that were not in the first rounds of superfast broadband rollout to pool their vouchers together and use the value to acquire alternative methods like WiSpire. The campaign also shone a light on the lack of mobile phone signal in many parts and encouraged partners to embrace new ways of tackling the issue.
A lot of great work has been done over the years – with superfast broadband coverage now over 95% across Norfolk and many of the local “not-spots” now able to receive good quality mobile signal. However, I am keen to tackle that final percentage.
See below much of my work on these issues to date. Please do check back regularly for further updates.
I am delighted that Government funding is bringing fast broadband to more communities across Mid Norfolk, with Openreach announcing plans to make ultrafast, ultra-reliable and future-proof broadband in 227 market towns and villages across the UK, including in: Attleborough, Besthorpe, Great Ellingham, Dereham, Toftwood, Watton and Wymondham.