Broadband News

Secretary of state and minister of digital roles now occupied at DCMS - UPDATED

The new names over at DCMS are Nicky Morgan the MP for Loughborough as Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport with Nigel Adams the MP for Selby and Ainsty appointed as Minister of State for Sport, Media and Creative Industries and finally Matt Warman the MP for Boston and Skegness the Minister for Digital and Broadband.

Ministerial line up at DCMS July 2019
Line up of Ministers and their various roles within DCMS

The first order of business is going to be starting the ball rolling very quickly on accelerating the full fibre roll-outs. The 2025 commitment was re-iterated in the House of Commons by Boris Johnson.

We are committed to levelling up across every nation and region of the UK, providing support to towns and cities and closing the opportunity gap in our society. We will announce investment in vital infrastructure, full fibre roll-out, transport and housing that can improve the quality of people’s lives, fuel economic growth and provide opportunity.

...

Dr Caroline Johnson (Sleaford and North Hykeham) (Con)

I congratulate the Prime Minister and welcome him to his role. Some 19% of my constituents still do not have access to 10 megabytes of broadband, affecting their business, educational and leisure opportunities. Will my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister commit, as he has done during the campaign, to delivering broadband to every one of my constituents?

The Prime Minister

I thank my hon. Friend. She may have noticed that in the course of the recent election campaign I made it absolutely clear that we will accelerate the programme of full fibre broadband by eight years, so that every household in this country gets full fibre broadband within the next five years.

House of Commons - Priorities of Government 25th July 2019 via Hansard transcript

Yes we know an MP said megabytes when they really meant Mega bits per second, but the key point is that we have the target date on the record in the House of Commons now.

In terms of any calculations around the target our intention is to stick with a date of 31st March 2026 for now, we are aware that we could interpret within 5 years as by end of July 2024 but past experience with the superfast pronouncements back in 2010 to 2012 means we will be assuming by end of the financial year in 2025.

At Connected Britain this June one interesting idea was raised by a panel member when responding the potential of 2025 being announced as the 100% full fibre date and they said what was needed was everyone to leave a town/area for a period of weeks to allow the teams deploying the full fibre the freedom to work at breakneck pace on closed roads. Other ideas such as overriding wayleaves requirements were also mooted but that is so radical and open to abuse that could create long legal challenges it seems unlikely - some half way house compromise will be needed though for flats and apartments where the building owner is refusing e.g. if a majority of residents agree to a roll-out in the block that this would override the owners objections.

The tight rope to walk now is being too optimistic and keep saying it can be done while not offering the help actually needed, being optimistic but with a degree of realism that there is a risk that the 100% may slip slightly but still be reached well ahead of the previous 2033 or the full stubborn position of it simply cannot be done and therefore no point trying.

Updated 31st July 2019

We have updated the item to include Matt Warman who has the role of Minister for Digital and Broadband, the previous Minister that covered Digital was Margot James who also had responsibilities for other parts of DCMS.

Comments

Hi Broadband Watchers.
The figure of 19 % under 10 Meg is a very high result it looks like the (MP,s are not checking) on TBB results either that or she has many letter complaints. The range of the results one must be incorrect it should start to dominate when the USO kicks in 20/3/20.

  • Blackmamba
  • 26 days ago

  • Blackmamba
  • 26 days ago

Where are you seeing 19% under 10 Meg? i.e. link to page

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 26 days ago

Hi Andrews
In the Doctors remarks it could be a print error or 190 customers.

  • Blackmamba
  • 26 days ago

@BM
Helpfully a fact check on TBB suggests that the actual percentage of premises unable to access download speeds of at least 10Mbps is 3.63% rather than the claimed 19%.

Perhaps Grant Shapps provided the erroneous data to her via his Big Infrastructure Group vanity publishing label - it has form for getting its facts wrong. Just as well he doesn’t have responsibility for anything significant ... oh wait!

  • New_Londoner
  • 26 days ago

Hi New Londoner.
Errors cost money to the customers heads should roll the Post Codes should be correct so the customers can purchase the best package for them.
The ISPs (500) are responsible for this situation as Openreach has been split from BT.

  • Blackmamba
  • 26 days ago

Hi Londoner.
If Grant Shapps is getting incorrect data they only need to check an Exchange with a 3000 customers with 20 Cabs.

  • Blackmamba
  • 26 days ago

An exchange with 3000 customers and 20 cabs is not going to be very representative for an MP since constituencies are sized to cover around 50,000 premises (or is that population, its a wet Saturday so brain cannot recall exactly).

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 25 days ago

Hi Broadband Watchers.
If the PMs advisers had checked TBB data covering the area of the Dam /Exchange they may have altered the target pure fibre to 24 meg at all Post Codes by 2025 which I feel is possible.
I think the Exchange covers aprox 2800 customers.

  • Blackmamba
  • 18 days ago

Hi Londoner.
If each MP had a list of the Post Codes that are under 10 Meg in their area the PM would be controlling the UK Broadband thus diverting money to the required area to hit 24 Meg.

  • Blackmamba
  • 18 days ago

Post a comment

Login Register