Tech City broadband 'is a joke' header image

Published: 22nd Jun 2016

The standard of broadband in London's Tech City has been dubbed a "joke" by a local MP. 

Based in Shoreditch, the Silicon Roundabout area serves as a base for many of the UK's technology companies, but a third of the firms located in the area are without a high-speed connection, the Islington Gazette reports.

Meg Hillier, Labour MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch, told the newspaper the current situation is a "national embarrassment".

"I've had letters from constituents who work from home and they need access to high-speed internet. This is a joke, frankly. You can't just throw money at a problem, it’s the infrastructure that needs changing," she stated.

The politician also criticised BT's role in the rollout of super-fast broadband across the UK, claiming the company has "done very well out of the public purse".

Speaking in a parliamentary debate last week, Ms Hillier asked prime minister David Cameron what is being done to address Tech City's lack of connectivity. He replied by saying the new business secretary Sajid Javid is "working very hard" to resolve the issue.

A petition that calls for broadband speeds in Tech City to be improved has also been launched. 

This is not the first time complaints have been raised about a surprising lack of connectivity in central London. In April, the Guardian reported luxury housing development the One Hyde Park complex can receive speeds no faster than ten Mbps. This is despite the average property at the site costing in the region of £22 million. 

A recent report from Ofcom revealed broadband speeds are still very low in some of the UK's major cities. For example, in Glasgow a third of residents do not have access to super-fast technology.

The telecoms watchdog found the lack of connectivity tends to be most severe in deprived areas. In such regions of Glasgow, super-fast availability stands at just 57.8 per cent, compared to 67 per cent for the city overall.