Superfast Broadband — [Mark Pritchard in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:37 pm on 24th June 2015.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Chris Bryant Chris Bryant Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport 3:37 pm, 24th June 2015

I am not sure what devolution has to do with this particular issue. [Interruption.] If the Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy wants to make a contribution, I am sure he might catch your eye later, Mr Pritchard, if I sit down. [Laughter.]

My hon. Friend the Member for Ynys Môn made several points and said that the market is not working. Many hon. Members have rightly expressed concern about how we have assessed state aid and market failure. I am not sure that it has really delivered the significant outcomes that we would all like to have been achieved for the significant amount of money that the Government have put in.

Neil Parish gave what I can only describe as a Julius Caesar speech, as its basic tenor was, “I come to bury Vaizey, not to praise him”. He made his points better than I can, so I will not make them again.

Throughout the previous Parliament, my hon. Friend John Woodcock consistently made points about how his constituents are affected, and he was absolutely right to do so. It is good that he can now get emails on the matter, even if many in his constituency still find it difficult to get superfast broadband.

Mark Field—I note that most constituencies have two names in them; few are as concise as Rhondda, unlike the Member for Rhondda—made the important point that the issue is not only about rural constituencies. Some of the most intractable problems relate to cities. For instance, all the cabling on the south bank of the Thames runs in and out of the side of the river, which makes for very difficult contention ratios along long copper wires. That has still not been resolved in many cases, so he is absolutely right.