Somerset MP reveals final ten per cent concerns header image

A Somerset MP has raised concerns about what will happen to people who live in areas that fall into the 'final ten per cent' of the government's broadband rollout.

The coalition is currently working alongside BT to bring super-fast internet to 90 per cent of the UK, but the remainder will be only be guaranteed minimum speeds of two Mbps, which is below the current national average. 

Speaking at prime minister's questions, David Heath, Liberal Democrat MP for Somerton and Frome, said he is concerned about the service people in the final ten per cent will receive.

"We had the really good news in Somerset this week that 82 per cent of premises in my constituency will be connected by the end of 2016.

"The sad fact, however, is that more than 8,000 properties in the so-called last ten per cent will not be connected," he stated.

The MP called on the government to provide investment to "finish the job" and claimed this should be done without having to go through a complex bidding or funding system.

Mr Heath compared the wait for super-fast broadband in Somerset to "waiting for Godot", a play by Samuel Beckett in which two friends wait in vain for the arrival of someone who never comes.

The issue of the final ten per cent is largely a rural concern, as the majority of areas that fall into this bracket will most likely be in the countryside. Such locations already have some of the worst levels of internet access in the country and require a better service than the minimum two Mbps they are set to receive. 

In many cases, people living in these areas would benefit from looking for an alternative to the government rollout such as satellite broadband. This technology can provide connection speeds of up to 20 Mbps regardless of location and can be installed within a few weeks of an order being placed.