Isle of Wight councillors criticised over broadband situation header image

Members of the Isle of Wight Council cabinet have been criticised for delaying the rollout of super-fast broadband on the island.

Earlier this month, the authority chose to put back its decision on whether to provide BT with the contract to carry out the improvements due to concerns about funding and a lack of "neutral" information. 

However, three councillors for rural wards on the Island are unhappy with the delay, the Isle of Wight County Press reports. 

Councillor Stuart Hutchinson told the newspaper: "Rural areas are already disadvantaged as access to council services is limited, one of my areas doesn’t even have a bus service. Fast broadband will, to some extent, help to maintain connections."

He claimed the cabinet should have done "its homework" rather than complaining about a lack of information. 

Councillor Bob Seely added: "Fast broadband is not an option, it’s an essential for farms, bed and breakfasts, business and residents in rural parts of the island. We need action, not indecision."

Mr Hutchinson, Mr Seely and fellow councillor Dave Stewart have written a letter to the cabinet's member for tourism and economy Shirley Smart asking for assurances that the plans to improve the island's broadband will still go ahead. 

The issue is set to be discussed again when the cabinet meets on September 10th. 

Government funding worth £3 million has been provided to improve connectivity on the Isle of Wight and bring faster connections to 90 per cent of the region. 

This is part of the wider Broadband Delivery UK project, which aims to increase super-fast broadband coverage throughout the UK. However, the scheme has run into a number of difficulties and it has been suggested it will not be completed until 2017 rather than its initial target of 2015. 

As a result, people throughout the country may face a wait for improved internet access. If you need a better broadband service now satellite broadband from Avonline is a viable alternative.

Posted by Mark Wynn