South-west MP slams BT's broadband rollout header image

Published: 22nd Jun 2016

BT's involvement in the rollout of super-fast broadband across the UK has been heavily criticised by a south-west MP.

Neil Parish, MP for Tiverton and Honiton, discussed the issue in parliament last week. He claimed the Blackdown hills area of his constituency is having "huge problems", with many villages in the area set to be left out of the super-fast rollout altogether. 

The politician added that while the government and BT are focusing on bringing super-fast availability to 95 per cent of the UK, only around 50 per cent of his constituency is set to benefit.

Mr Parish criticised the lack of transparency surrounding the rollout, claiming significant problems have been caused by the  confidentiality clause included in the previous contract for Devon and Somerset.

"In the new contract that Devon and Somerset are being asked to sign, BT is asking for an extra £35 million and three more years to deliver the broadband, most of which should have been delivered by 2016. What sort of deal is that?" he stated. 

"We are being held to ransom for the simple reason that the waiving of the state aid rules only lasts to the end of this month," the MP added.

Mr Parish claimed BT is aiming to force Devon and Somerset into signing the new agreement as the region will otherwise fall outside of state aid rules.

While he praised the telecoms' giant as a "very good" company, he questioned what the government is doing to curtail its dominance of the broadband market.

The MP went on to claim many of his constituents may find themselves waiting until 2020 or beyond before super-fast broadband  becomes available, should BT be allowed to keep stalling.

Do you live in the south-west or another area of the UK where there the government and BT's super-fast rollout has been delayed or may not come to your region at all? Whatever your situation, satellite broadband may well be the best option.