Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 12°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Essex: Focus £10 million superfast broadband windfall on rural areas, says MP

07:00 27 February 2014

Douglas Carswell

Douglas Carswell

Archant

Rural areas in north Essex should be among those to benefit from a £10million superfast broadband windfall, an MP has said.

The government yesterday announced it is making an additional £10.7m available to boost internet connections in the county for both business and home users.

The announcement follows on from a pledge to spend £24m on the service made last autumn by the government, telecoms provider BT, and Essex County Council, who at the time said it hoped to make superfast broadband available to 90% of people living in Essex by 2016.

But Clacton MP Douglas Carswell said he wants the additional funds focused on rural areas, where download speeds are slow and access to the internet is still in the “Dark Ages”.

“There is a huge swathe of rural communities in north Essex between Colchester, Clacton and Harwich where the service is just not good enough,” he added.

Both download speeds and upload speeds - which are important to businesses - are very slow. Having good broadband connections is vital to rural economies - it enables businesses to stay in villages and provides employment opportunities.

Mr Carswell added: “Broadband is to the 20th Century what railways were to the 19th Century. There’s no point putting more resources in urban centre where people are already well-connected, the funds need to go to areas in Tendring where internet services are still in the Dark Ages.”

Mr Carswell’s remarks were backed by chief executive of Essex Chambers of Commerce, Denise Rossiter, who said: “With a growing number of people working from home or based in rural areas access to superfast broadband is no longer a luxury but a day to day necessity for both businesses and residents.

“We very much welcome this announcement from the Government to increase the coverage in hard to reach areas which should give a much needed boost to our rural economies”

Colchester councillor Tim Young said rural areas in the Colchester borough that need better broadband services include Layer Marney, Birch, Fingringhoe and Abberton.

The government announced an additional £250m for broadband across the UK yesterday with £32m going to the east of England. An additional £5m will go to Suffolk and £5.6m to Norfolk

Culture Secretary Maria Miller added: “Superfast broadband will benefit everyone in the east of England - whether they need it for work, to do homework or simply to download music or films. Thousands of homes and businesses now have access and it is helping people with their everyday tasks. We want to make sure that Britain is one of the best countries in the world for broadband, and the extra £250m we are investing will help ensure communities around the UK are not left behind in the digital slow lane.”

0 comments

Controversial Labour peer Baroness Chakrabarti has angered Essex politicians after she declared “Don’t lock me in a room with Essex man” at the Labour Party conference.

Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry speaks during the second day of the Labour Party conference in Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday September 26, 2016. See PA story LABOUR Main. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

One of the region’s top farming representatives has warned that the British food and farming sector must remain productive and competitive as Labour announced it was looking to shake up current subsidy rules post-Brexit.

Photo by Angela Sharpe of Ellough Park Raceway

The man, in his early 60s, had been celebrating his brother’s birthday and was karting at the circuit, near Beccles, when he was reportedly involved in a collision with another go-kart.

Landlord of the Eels Foot Inn, Julian Wallace,  had to issue paper invoices to bill patrons after his phone lines went down last week

The Eels Foot Inn in Eastbridge has been forced to use paper invoices to bill their patrons after its phone lines and broadband went down for a week.

Corrie McKeague

Police are concerned for the welfare of a 23-year-old man from Bury St Edmunds who has been missing since Saturday morning.

Philip Morant School

From now on students will choose their own homework at a school in Colchester.

The Essex and Herts Air Ambulance

A man has been taken to hospital in a serious condition following a motorcycle crash in Blythburgh this morning.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24