Following a packed Westminster Hall debate in January, Jesse Norman was able to secure a three hour debate in the House of Commons chamber yesterday on the important topic of broadband and mobile coverage in rural areas.
Herefordshire has long suffered from poor mobile coverage, with nearly a third of the area of the county being officially classed as a partial-not spot. But a new deal brokered between Government and the mobile network operators will bring full coverage to 90% of the geographic area of the country by 2017. Jesse called on the Government and the mobile network operators to prioritise the most hard-hit areas - such as Herefordshire - for early action.
On broadband, Jesse highlighted that while there has been much recent progress in Herefordshire, many local people remain hugely frustrated with poor speeds and intermittent service. He used the debate to highlight the experiences of people and businesses in Herefordshire who struggle to run their businesses, use public services or stay in touch with family and friends because of slow broadband and mobile services.
Speaking after the debate, Jesse said: "I was delighted at the turnout for my debate on this extremely important topic. Broadband and mobile coverage are a vital part of modern life, and still more so for people in rural areas. The Government has made important progress in improving coverage, but there is still far more to do."
The full text from the debate can be found here.