Sharma welcomes good progress on superfast broadband provision

9th February 2015

Alok Sharma, the Member of Parliament for Reading West, has welcomed the news that 91 per cent of homes in Reading West are now able to access superfast broadband services.

41,377 homes in Reading West are now connected to a cabinet that can provide download speeds of at least 24Mb/second. According to Ofcom, the average download speed available in Reading West is now 29.1Mb/second.

As part of the Government’s Superfast Broadband Programme, a further 2,654 homes in Reading West will have access to superfast broadband by 2017, taking the number of homes covered to 97% – these premises are all in areas that the private sector would not otherwise have reached.

The Government’s Superfast Broadband Programme has now reached over 2 million homes and businesses and coverage is being extended to a further 40,000 premises across the UK every week. The Government is investing £680 million in superfast broadband and has cut red tape to allow new broadband street cabinets and other infrastructure to be installed without the need for prior approval from the local council (except in Sites of Special Scientific Interest).

Alok Sharma said: “Superfast broadband is key to boosting economic growth, making the town more competitive and creating jobs. I am delighted that thanks to plans by the Conservatives in government, 97% of homes and businesses in my Reading West constituency will have access to download speeds of at least 24 Megabits per second by 2017.”

Alok continued: “Investing in superfast broadband services is a key part of the Conservative’s long term economic plan and it is therefore extremely frustrating that Reading Borough Council have chosen to reject Government funding, as part of the Super Connected Cities programme, to help connect small and medium sized businesses and I have therefore written to the council’s Managing Director, asking him to urgently review this poorly made decision.”