In her weekly column for Ely News, Lucy Frazer, MP for South East Cambridgeshire, talks about connectivity.
Mobile and broadband technology is changing the way we communicate. It is altering the way we shop, chat and do business. Access to the internet and mobile communications is not only desirable but necessary.
Shortly after I was elected I began campaigning for better broadband starting with a meeting with Connecting Cambridgeshire (the entity established to deliver broadband locally), BT and any residents who felt that they did not have access to superfast broadband. Twenty four of my fifty villages were represented at that meeting. This meant that just under half my villages did not have adequate coverage which emphasised to me the importance of this issue. I spent some time in the following months meeting with BT and Connecting Cambridgeshire pressing to ensure faster connectivity. Bit by bit the overall position is improving and last month saw the latest wave of villages connected - West Wickham, Carlton, Little Wilbraham and Reach – all now finally connected to superfast broadband. This is great news, but it has only happened with a great deal of effort from a number of players, most importantly the many local broadband champions in each village.
And there is still more work to do. So later this month I am hosting a meeting with the Minister for Digital and Culture, Matt Hancock MP, and Connecting Cambridgeshire to see how we can connect the final 6% of our local residents.
Broadband is not the only technology we need. Mobile is also essential. I have recently met with 02 and EE to discuss mobile delivery in the constituency and later this month I will be meeting with Vodafone. I am impressing on them the importance of much better reception in our area. It is surprising that there is still no mobile signal in some parts of the centre including Fore Hill in Ely. This is another matter which I will be raising with the Minister at our meeting later this month in an effort to try and ensure that funding for 5G connection comes our way!
P.S. It was great to host the Ely District Scouts this week at Westminster – we chatted about Brexit, school funding and reducing the voting age.