One of my top priorities is to improve the High Peak’s access to ultrafast broadband and reliable mobile phone coverage across the High Peak.
The Peak District’s unique geography means we have some of the worst coverage blackspots in the entire country. This means too many people are not getting the service they are paying for. I have raised this issue in Parliament many times, urging Ministers to speed up the rollout of gigabit-capable broadband, and boost mobile coverage to the hardest-to-reach places.
Progress is being made. I have been out on-site with Openreach engineers to learn more about their local broadband network (which is used by providers like BT, Sky, Plusnet, and TalkTalk), and the challenges faced in rolling out full-fibre to the hardest to reach homes. I am pleased to report that Openreach has now included the High Peak in their plans to extend full-fibre. They have also announced the creation of 15 new locally based engineering jobs to help speed up the local rollout.
The Chancellor has also made a £5billion commitment to support the roll-out of gigabit-capable broadband to the hardest to reach areas of the UK.
However, more can be done so that everyone in the High Peak can enjoy the best possible digital connections. I carried out a special survey of residents across the High Peak to identify the worst areas of broadband and mobile phone coverage. I am presenting the results of this comprehensive survey to both the Government and providers to help strengthen the case for investment in High Peak.