Digital Economy Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:33 pm on 13th September 2016.

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Photo of John Whittingdale John Whittingdale Conservative, Maldon 1:33 pm, 13th September 2016

We were very close in our ministerial team!

The Bill is something of a Christmas tree and contains a number of different measures within it. Let me speak first about the two major provisions, which both relate to connectivity. The reform of the electronic communications code has been something that communications providers have been urging for a considerable time. Indeed, it was part of the deal struck with mobile phone providers by my right hon. Friend Sajid Javid in return for their guarantee of extending coverage. It was attempted to be introduced in the Enterprise Bill in the last Parliament. It has been around for a long time.

I found out from my own constituency about 18 months ago that Vodafone had a problem with one of its transmitters, which led to a large number of my constituents losing the service. That was impossible to put right for something like eight weeks as a result of Vodafone being unable to access the transmitter.