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Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:39 am on 19th March 2015.

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Photo of John Thurso John Thurso Chair, Finance and Services Committee 11:39 am, 19th March 2015

I join colleagues in paying tribute to the Leader of the House and the shadow Leader of the House for the work they have done, on the House of Commons Commission in particular. Much has been achieved together and it has been great working as part of that team.

Will it be possible to have a debate on the provision of communication infrastructure by BT? It has been suggested recently that that should be hived off from the company. In the highlands of Scotland, in my constituency, I have received 45 complaints, such as that from John Sinclair of Caithness Creels, who has been waiting for more than three weeks to get broadband. The residents of Lothmore have been waiting for up to six weeks to be reconnected. There is a clear shortage of engineers and BT seems to regard that as perfectly acceptable. I wrote two weeks ago to the chairman, Sir Michael Rake, pointing out the potential reputational damage to BT; I never received an answer from him. The high-level complaints team has however told me that it will look at the issue, but that it might take some time. That is not acceptable from the provider of a national infrastructure and I believe we should be concerned about that.