As a resident of rural North East Hampshire and your Member of Parliament, I have had countless local people in your area tell me that action must be taken to provide reliable broadband services to all rural parts of my constituency.
Whilst 96.5% of North East Hampshire already has superfast (‘Fibre to the Cabinet’) broadband, just under 1% still have less than 10Mpbs; slow and unreliable broadband disproportionately affects those living in rural areas, like Ramsdell, Sherborne St John, Monk Sherborne, Charter Alley and beyond. I know how valuable reliable broadband is for local people.
The lack of these services is having a negative impact on residents’ quality of life – particularly in a time where we want fast and reliable services to stay connected to our family and friends, and to work efficiently from home. The businesses and schools in these areas rely on them too. I have made the case to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Hampshire County Council (HCC) on behalf of your community – and now we must go further.
A contract is due to be awarded at the end of year to deliver Hampshire’s share of a £5 billion gigabit (‘Fibre to the Premises’) broadband extension. All premises in Sherborne St John are to be included in this process, but it remains possible that any supplier may not agree to cover all properties. That’s why I need your help to make the evidence case to make sure that every organisation involved plays their part and so that your corner of the county is included in the next round of improvements.
If you want the rural parts of North East Hampshire see the benefits of this, you – and your friends and neighbours – can sign my petition below, so that rural North East Hampshire gets the infrastructure it deserves.