BURTON’S shoddy and unreliable broadband speeds have been condemned on the floor of the House of Commons during a lengthy debate about poor internet access.
The town’s MP Andrew Griffiths joined fellow parliamentarians to bemoan the notoriously slow speeds endured by some residents in Burton and surrounding villages.
Mr Griffiths told the House: “It is frustrating as a constituency MP, desperate as I am to bring new jobs and employment to my area, to see that hampered by BT’s inability to provide the internet access that is needed.”
The MP has been highly critical of BT for many weeks, but in his most direct attack on the telecoms giant yet, he said: “The reason for those campaigns [for faster broadband] is that the current broadband service is stopping growth and jobs in my constituency.
“I know of at least three businesses that were looking to relocate in the Burton constituency, but decided not to simply because of the poor quality of the broadband access.”
Mr Griffiths said broadband customers in outlying villages were suffering even more than people living in the centre of Burton.
He said: “We talk about rural broadband, but in my constituency there are villages such as Anslow and Tatenhill that are only one mile or one-and-a-half miles outside the central Burton area, but whose internet access is incredibly sporadic or in many cases non-existent.”
The parliamentary debate comes at the same time a series of ‘broadband roadshows’ were unveiled across Staffordshire.
The roadshow will include visits to village halls in Anslow and Fradley to hear residents’ views on broadband speeds.
Frances Beatty, of Staffordshire Rural Hub, which is organising the roadshow, said: “We know that broadband is faster in some parts of Staffordshire than others, and some people aren’t able to obtain the speeds that should be available.
“It’s vital that we get an accurate understanding of people’s real experiences, from residents and businesses around the county.
“Commercial broadband providers think there is little demand in villages and outlying communities.” The roadshow will visit Anslow on June 6 and Fradley on June 24.
In each case the roadshow will be in place from 2pm to 9pm.
You can watch Andrew’s speech (at about 15:58:40 in the video) at
or read his contribution at http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debate/?id=2011-05-19b.570.0