This week sees Parliament return after what has been a really busy Summer Recess for me down here in Mid-Cornwall.
I am looking forward to what will no-doubt be a busy schedule in Parliament this Autumn, dominated by Brexit. It was good to see so many local people, businesses and organisations over July and August. It was also great to see continuing investment in Cornwall’s infrastructure, including our broadband network.
The first phase of Cornwall’s Broadband infrastructure programme, Superfast Cornwall, has so far provided an estimated £275 million annual boost to the economy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, creating around 3,000 new jobs and safeguarding 3,400. An estimated 16,150 businesses have connected to high-speed fibre broadband with the technology helping the creation of around 3,300 start-up businesses.
Earlier in August I welcomed the announcement of the third phase of the Superfast Cornwall programme. This £17.6 million deal will see the latest Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology – capable of delivering speeds up to one gigabit per second (Gbps) – rolled out to more than 7,000 premises across Cornwall by the end of 2019.
Last week I was pleased to meet with BT and Superfast Cornwall to discuss the programme, including which areas in Mid-Cornwall will be connected in this next phase. We are making good progress and by the end of 2019 almost all premises in Mid-Cornwall will have a broadband connection. This programme will include some of the most remote and challenging areas to connect that I have been pressing BT on for some time. This is real progress and good news for our rural communities.
At the end of this latest stage of the programme, there will still be an estimated 8,000 premises in Cornwall that will have broadband at speeds less than adequate and I look forward to working with Superfast Cornwall and Cornwall Council to ensure these properties do not get left out. These proposals include a grant scheme from Cornwall Council and a subsidised Superfast Satellite Scheme.
It is clear though, that in the increasingly digital age we live in, the importance of having decent broadband connections, both for business and leisure purposes, will only continue to grow. I look forward to continuing to ensure that in Mid-Cornwall we continue to get the best from the broadband infrastructure programmes available.
My team and I are here to serve the whole constituency and work hard to make a real difference to the lives of everyone needing support. The office is open to the public Monday – Friday 10.00am – 4.00pm (no appointment necessary). If there is an issue you would like my assistance on then please, either visit the office or contact me on either 01726 829379 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, I hold regular, appointment only, advice surgeries across the constituency. Dates of these can be found at: www.stevedouble.org.uk/events