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Hon. Members' Offices (Broadband)

Leader of the House written question – answered on 27th October 2005.

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Photo of Lindsay Hoyle Lindsay Hoyle Labour, Chorley

To ask the Leader of the House how many hon. Members' constituency offices have been connected to broadband; and how many hon. Members who have applied for broadband in their constituency offices have been waiting to be connected for (a) six months, (b) one year and (c) two years and over.

Photo of Nigel Griffiths Nigel Griffiths Parliamentary Secretary

404 current Members have been connected to broadband in their constituency by the Parliamentary Communications Directorate (PCD). In addition to this number, some Members may have made their own arrangements to procure a broadband connection in their constituency, for which there are no central records.

The broadband connection is needed to support Parliament's Virtual Private Network (VPN) service. Where Members have the upgraded Personal Computers necessary to support VPN, orders to install are generally being completed within 28 days of their receipt.

Not all Members took up an invite to upgrade their Personal Computers and this has resulted in a very small number of MPs who have recently requested broadband and VPN services without the necessary upgraded Personal Computers to support it. However, they will have their equipment replaced in the first phase of a large PCD project due to commence in November and this will ensure that their requests can be met.

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