Theresa Villiers, MP for Chipping Barnet, has today welcomed the news from BT that Barnet will be included in the next phase of their commercial delivery of fast broadband in the UK. Alongside concerned residents and groups such as the Barnet Society, Theresa has been campaigning to improve access to superfast fibre broadband in her Chipping Barnet constituency. Whilst over 90% of households in the constituency can already subscribe to fast broadband, that leaves some significant gaps in provision, particularly in the High Barnet area.
Theresa Villiers said: "BT told me today that coverage of fibre broadband will increase so that 98% of households and businesses in my constituency will be able to get superfast speeds by the time this next phase of their broadband delivery is completed in two years."
"That's good news for many of my constituents. I particularly welcome the fact that the upgrade programme announced today includes five of the nine cabinets in High Barnet highlighted by the Barnet Society as a priority for connection to fast broadband. Another of the Barnet Society list of cabinets has already been scheduled for upgrade, bringing the total to six out of nine."
"I have repeatedly pressed BT and other telecoms providers to improve broadband speeds in these parts of High Barnet where the gaps in broadband provision are at their most serious. Today's announcement is an important step forward but the campaign for better broadband in Barnet will continue."
"The upgrade of five of the cabinets is not yet a certainty. It will be subject to further physical surveys and work, and the whole process could take up to two years. I will keep up the pressure on BT to deliver on the announcement made today, in full, as soon as possible. I am also determined to keep fighting for faster broadband for the homes and businesses served by the BT cabinets which have not made it into the upgrade list today. I will continue to work hard with BT, ward councillors, the Mayor, the Government, and residents to try to get these last gaps in provision filled."
The five BT cabinets in High Barnet included in BT's upgrade announcement today are:
- Wood Street near the Black Horse pub (Cabinet 39)
- Bells Hill near the junction of Wood Street (Cabinet 40)
- Manor Road near the junction of Cedar Lawn Avenue (Cabinet 38)
- Wood Street near the entrance to the Old Courthouse recreation ground (Cabinet 33)
- Salisbury Road near the junction of Stapylton Road (Cabinet 64)
A sixth cabinet in Barnet High Street-Hadley Parade (Cabinet 52) is due to be upgraded after funding was provided by local residents.
The three cabinets which are not yet part of the BT upgrade programme are Bruce Road near the junction with St Albans Road (Cabinets 36 and 65) and Salisbury Road near the junction with the High Street (Cabinet 34).