Broadband: Hornsey and Wood Green

Department for Science, Innovation and Technology written question – answered at on 2 May 2023.

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Photo of Catherine West Catherine West Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, whether she plans to take steps to help improve broadband infrastructure in Hornsey and Wood Green constituency.

Photo of Catherine West Catherine West Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, if she will take steps to help ensure that all households have access to fibre to the premises broadband in Hornsey and Wood Green constituency.

Photo of Julia Lopez Julia Lopez Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office), The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)

The Government is committed to delivering nationwide gigabit connectivity as soon as possible. By 2025, the Government is targeting a minimum of 85% gigabit-capable coverage. As of April 2023, 78% of premises in Horney and Wood Green have access to gigabit-capable networks, up from just 1.7% in April 2020.

Our pro-competition policies have made it as easy as possible for firms to build their networks in the UK by removing barriers to rollout and working with Ofcom to promote competition and investment. As a result, there is now a thriving market of over 80 providers investing nearly £35bn rolling out gigabit broadband all over the UK. This approach is the fastest and best value for the taxpayer as it allows us to focus government funding on the areas that would not otherwise be connected.

The scale at which operators choose to build their networks in urban areas such as Hornsey and Wood Green is a commercial decision, and the Government is unable to intervene as we are bound by competition law, though we expect the vast majority of premises in Hornsey and Wood Green to be connected by the 2025 target.

In order to further improve connectivity in Hornsey and Wood Green, we have published the Digital Connectivity Portal - extensive guidance to help local authorities facilitate broadband deployment. This includes technical information on the application of telecoms legislation, as well practical examples of best practice (such as the Street Works Toolkit for working in the country’s highways, and wayleave templates for telecoms operators to gain access to public sector land).

The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology officials regularly facilitate meetings and workshops between local government and the broadband industry, to build relationships that foster more frictionless deployment. The four sub-regional partnerships across London have been vital in coordinating this work. For example, Local London, which represents the London Borough of Haringey, has worked with the Government on a number of initiatives.

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