Superfast Broadband — [Mark Pritchard in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:25 pm on 24th June 2015.

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Photo of Nusrat Ghani Nusrat Ghani Conservative, Wealden 3:25 pm, 24th June 2015

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that example.

Beyond the impact on businesses, there is an impact on older people. I am pleased to be the new co-chair of the all-party group for ageing and older people. Addressing ageing and loneliness is a priority of mine. The speed at which technology is changing is frightening for the best of us, but for older people it can be truly isolating. Ensuring that they have access to the internet is not just an economic or technological issue, but a social care issue. We cannot let anyone be left behind or left out.

This and the previous Government have taken encouraging steps with respect to broadband provision. The £1.7 billion being invested is welcome, as is the fact that, according to the Countryside Alliance, 90% of premises will be connected by early 2016. My concern is that the other 10% should not be left behind and that during the roll-out of superfast broadband, the responsibility to deliver basic broadband to those who fall beyond the limits of the BDUK project should not be overlooked.