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Goodbye Ed Vaizey, hello Matthew Hancock
Saturday 16 July 2016 10:17:29 by Andrew Ferguson

Politics is a funny old game and the last month has seen many changes, but generally the broadband world has carried on as usual, but with the news that the Rt Hon Ed Vaizey MP is leaving DCMS and his role as Minister of State for Digital and Culture there is a possibility (or risk depending on viewpoint) of change. The new Prime Minister has appointed Matthew Hancock MP (@MattHancockMP) as the new Minister of State for Digital & Culture.

Whilst we are sure not everyone agreed with what the Rt Hon Ed Vaizey MP said and did with regards to broadband in his term, as the longest ever minister serving in the role this did mean the industry and campaigners had been able to build a working relationship and with regards to the broadband side of things the long term knowledge gained was very important.

Matthew Hancock MP joins at a time when the projects to push superfast coverage to 95% are all pretty much underway so the chance of forcing any change of direction there are unlikely given the 18 months left to run before the target should be reached, but there is a lot of work to be done on the Universal Service Obligation and working to ensure that superfast roll-outs continue so that the 96 to 97% coverage figures many are hoping will be reached in the couple of years happen rather than be forgotten in all the political turmoil this summer.

For the UK technology as a whole, there are wider issues that also need clarity and a strong minister to work with, since the IP Bill with its controversial Internet Connection Records (ICR) that will store metadata on internet use and the continuing confusion over end to end encryption has much of the industry concerned and if handled poorly could persuade high value tech firms to locate elsewhere.


Posted by adslmax 9 months ago
Never appoint any MP's who don't know nothing about broadband technology future.
Posted by DrMikeHuntHurtz 9 months ago

Since when do we elect/appoint MP's that can do anything besides stick their snout in the gravy train's trough?
Posted by rongtw 9 months ago
MP,s are only interested in filling their own pockets
Posted by nervous 9 months ago
Reference, Jo Cox

Have we not learnt anything?
Posted by chilting 9 months ago
Being positive he represents rural West Suffolk.
I guess his postbag has been full of broadband gripes from his constituents.
Looking on his website he has been campaigning for better broadband in his constituency.
Looks good to me!
Posted by Blackmamba 9 months ago
Hi Broadband Watchers.
I think he (MP) has a job for old copper he has only to check on TBB results to see that Openreach is on a roll plus the USO 10 meg % is dropping daily and as for the 30 meg EU 2020 target that was eliminated on the vote even OFCOM must be smiling.
Posted by CarlThomas 9 months ago
We will see. Matt Hancock didn't sign the banal Broadbad report which is a good sign.
Posted by Teefenn1 9 months ago
Matthew Hancock voted for the mass retention of information on people's internet usage in the insidious IP Bill and for the retention and examination of bulk personal datasets. That's all you need to know about this cretin. Like May, he wants N. Korean style mass surveillance and neither one of them has the first clue of how the internet actually works.
Posted by BBSlowcoach 9 months ago
Here in Suffolk we were fortunate to have Peter Cochrane address the launch of the Better Broadband for Suffolk campaign in 2012. Progress since has been painfully slow despite BT having its HiTec HQ based in the county and Mr Cochrane's warnings about the UK getting left behind. Perhaps an MP for a rural constituency and and from the 'Home county' will be able to exert some pressure in a positive direction for the benefit of the whole economy. Reliable fast BB connections are important for us all.
Posted by fastman 9 months ago
BBslowcoach -- Progress since has been painfully slow despite BT having its HiTec HQ based in the county -- what relevance is this? what village / Hamlet are you in
Posted by fastman 9 months ago
Posted by Blackmamba what is this and TBB results - im sure the minister will have the information that he needs
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 9 months ago
Of course the big difference with tbb based speed test result information and the coverage tracking is that it does not cost the public purse any money.
Posted by godsell4 9 months ago
I am sad to see Ed Vaizey go, he dealt with an emotional issue which was poorly understood by many commentators, MP's and the media and had to keep explaining why their naive views were not close to reality. He has helped get us a long way to being a superfast nation while navigating many political hot potatoes.
Posted by Blackmamba 9 months ago
Hi Fastman and Others.
If all the government officials had take notice off the coverage of TBB speed results hitting the 24 mag target in each of their areas and kept the voting customers not in the dark, they would have realised that Openreach were hitting their over all objectives 2017 90%. As TBB results are to two decimal points now you can see the results changing on every overwrite ( tick tick ) upwards.
Posted by DrMikeHuntHurtz 9 months ago
BT has failed to upgrade my cabinet, so I say give them the chop!
Posted by DrMikeHuntHurtz 9 months ago
Oops wrong thread.
Posted by BBSlowcoach 9 months ago
Hello fastman the relevance, as I see it, is that if BT is happy to ignore the requirements on its own rural doorstep apart that is from Planet BT itself, it underlines disquiet expressed by other rural communities at the lack of roll out. My community has passed its original est. upgrade date. Current est. is around end 2018. I am by no means badly off. I average now between 5.6 & 6.1 Mbps but buffering is a real issue so I do not attempt anything 'exciting'. Buying the latest hardware that needs fast BB is a waste. That goes for anything requiring strong mobile signal as well.
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