Wireless broadband technology should be funded by the Government to solve a stalemate that leaves the hardest to reach communities without access to superfast internet speeds, according to a group of MPs.
A report sent to Digital Minister Matt Hancock highlights the success of commercial and community-led fixed wireless broadband schemes in remote areas of North Yorkshire and Cumbria as templates for a wider roll-out across other tough-to-reach areas of the country.
Nine MPs who represent communities where superfast broadband coverage of 30Mbps is still below 85 per cent have written a joint letter to Mr Hancock to urge him to adopt what they claim is a “cost-effective” solution and one which they said had not typically been widely supported by Government funding.
The Conservative MPs for Thirsk and Malton, Kevin Hollinrake, and for York Outer, Julian Sturdy, have signed the letter, and Mr Hollinrake said: “Wireless is a proven technology, which is much more readily deliverable and can achieve ultrafast speeds without any data restrictions at competitive rates.”
One of the examples presented to Mr Hancock in the report explains how the technology has solved a coverage blackspot in Ryedale, where the district council has helped fund third party provider Moorsweb to link up the village of Rosedale with fixed wireless technology since 2012.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said Mr Hancock will respond to the MPs’ letter in due course, while a spokesperson added: “Affordable, fixed wireless solutions are already widely available to those in the hardest to reach areas and our ongoing broadband rollout has helped to bring superfast speeds to more than 95 per cent of the UK.
“We are on schedule, under budget and reaching thousands more homes and businesses every week. We will also make affordable, reliable, high speed broadband a legal right for everyone by 2020.”