Tag: Anne McIntosh

Free UK wi-fi has big holes in it

Ed VaizeyThe UK minister of state for digital industries came under tough questioning about broadband in the House of Commons yesterday.

Ed Vaizey claimed that all UK homes have access to broadband and 97 percent have access to broadband at speeds of two megabits.  He claimed superfast broadband availability has doubled, and the average speed of broadband has trebled.

He also claimed that the UK has the lowest prices for broadband of the big five countries in the European Union, and in the United States.

But that position was questioned by Tory MP Anne McIntosh.  She claimed that 28 percent of farms and rurals businesses in Thirsk, Malton and Filey won’t have any fast speed broadband by 2016. She asked Vaizey what steps his department was taking to allow acccess. He claimed the government was well ahead with its plans in North Yorkshire.

Helen Goodman, Labour’s shadow minister of Culture, Media and Sport said that while many people were pleased with the recent announcement of 1,000 free wi-fi spots across the UK, the department’s own map shows that Glasgow, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Bristol – with a combined population of four million – seemed to have no provision at all.

Vaizey said that the governmetn worked with the cities “so they came up with their own proposals… It is up to the cities how they choose to use the money”.