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

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. Most—90%—of my local businesses employ fewer than 10 people, and they tend to be run out of people’s own homes, so having rural broadband, whether the speed is slow or fast, is absolutely imperative. I thank my hon. Friend.

The Government predict that, by 2017, 95% of premises will benefit from speeds of more than 24 megabits; some of my constituents are asking for just 2 megabits, and they are not even getting that. The broadband connection voucher scheme, which allows businesses a grant of up to £3,000 for better and faster broadband, is also welcome, but it does not help my constituents one little bit; it is, for the moment, limited to businesses located within a certain distance of the 50 cities currently benefiting from the scheme. I hope the Government will consider expanding the scheme’s horizons and work to support other businesses.