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ISPA Discovers the Obvious – UK Politicians Debate Broadband a Lot

Friday, February 19th, 2016 (10:14 am) - Score 294
westminster uk government

The Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) has taken a look back at the number of times that “broadband” has been mentioned in Parliament since 2010 and discovered that there has been a 75% increase in references, which isn’t a surprise because that’s when Internet connectivity became a big issue.

Industry observers with a long enough memory will recall that broadband connectivity was rarely given much consideration by elected officials until around 2008/9 when the then Labour dominated UK Government moved to publish their Digital Britain report, which for the first time saw the issue of better broadband take centre stage in a political battle.

Unsurprisingly this spurred on rivals to make the pursuit of better broadband an issue for the May 2010 General Election and shortly after that the Broadband Delivery UK programme was born, which is predominantly working with BT to ensure that 95% of the UK can access a fixed line superfast broadband (24Mbps+) by 2017/18.

In that sense we’re not surprised to find that the ISPA, which compared the number of debates and parliamentary questions in three political periods since the 2010 election, discovered that written questions from MPs on broadband have increased 59% and broadband was mentioned 63% more in the House of Commons in the nine months since the election in 2015 compared to the first nine months in 2010.

Nine months immediately after 2010 election Mid way through 2010-15 parliament (Nov 2012- July 13)  Nine months Immediately after 2015 election
Written Parliamentary Questions 112 153 178
Westminster Hall debates 0 1 6
Mentions in the House of Commons chamber 47 76 93

The ISPA also found that there have been six debates on broadband since May 2015, compared to none in the same period after the 2010 election.

James Blessing, ISPA Chair, said:

“The massive investment in broadband from ISPA members has helped the Internet become an essential part of our daily lives and this is reflected in the level of parliamentary interest.

That isn’t to say broadband rollout isn’t without challenges and I am glad ISPA is proactively connecting ISPs with local MPs on how to bring the transformative effects of broadband to communities throughout the UK. We urge any MPs with questions or concerns about broadband to get in touch with ISPA.”

End.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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