In Parliament today, Theresa Villiers, MP for Chipping Barnet, met senior representatives of BT to urge them to ensure that her constituents get access to superfast fibre broadband services as soon as possible.
BT's General Manager for London, Southern and Eastern England, Andrew Campling attended, along with Clova Fyfe, Head of Parliamentary Affairs for the company. The meeting took place because of representations made by Nick Jones of the Barnet Society, who had contacted Theresa to express concern at the time it was taking to extend fast broadband to High Barnet.
Following the meeting, Theresa said "This was a useful discussion. I have been in correspondence with BT for some time on this issue but a face to face meeting was a good opportunity to emphasise how important this issue is for my constituents. We talked through in detail the work which BT is doing on upgrading broadband facilities in my constituency."
"Many of my constituents want access to the superfast speeds that come with new fibre cabling. I was told today that by the time BT finish their programme of broadband improvement in London in the spring, they expect 93% of the borough to have access to fast broadband with many able to access services with download speeds of up to 80Mb."
"While I welcome the work that has been done, I know that some of my constituents still aren't able to get the broadband speeds they want. This issue has been highlighted by Nick Jones of the Barnet Society. There are still some areas in the constituency that haven't got fibre broadband, for example in parts of High Barnet."
"Fast internet access can be crucial for business success. I will continue to press BT to ensure that as many homes and businesses as possible can be connected to fibre broadband in Chipping Barnet. 55 new telecoms cabinets have been installed in the constituency as part of work already done, with around 25,000 premises to benefit from the upgrade programme. Constituents have expressed some anxiety that the dates for delivering the upgrade in certain parts of Barnet had slipped to the summer. I raised this with BT and they promised to investigate further."
As well as her campaign to ensure Chipping Barnet is connected to superfast broadband services, Theresa Villiers last year pressed BT to take swift action to reconnect her constituents when cable theft led to many homes being cut off from phone and internet access.