Shropshire broadband campaigner to visit Westminster header image

A Shropshire broadband campaigner has been invited to Westminster to discuss his concerns about the rollout of super-fast internet in the county. 

Patrick Cosgrove of the South-West Shropshire and Marches Better Broadband will speak to cross-party group the Digital Policy Alliance (DPA) today (November 25th) regarding the issue. 

He is concerned the £25 million project to improve connectivity in the region is focusing on areas that already have a decent level of service and will ignore rural locations that are more in need. 

Mr Cosgrove told the Shropshire star: "This is not an opportunity to bash Shropshire Council, with whom we'd prefer to work constructively, but to make the point that rural dwellers and businesses across the country are paying the penalty for a faulty policy that has been handed down to local authorities from central government."

He added he hopes the meeting may help to convince the government to do more to ensure all rural areas have a good level of connectivity.  

Some residents of Shropshire may benefit from switching to satellite broadband, as this is not the first time concerns have been raised about the council and BT's plan to improve internet access in the county. 

Earlier this month, the West Midlands member of the European Parliament  Phil Bennion told the Shropshire Star the project is "not delivering what people need". He claimed the scheme should focus on providing the whole county with decent connections rather than concentrating on bringing super-fast speeds to just 90 per cent.

Mr Bennion also called on Shropshire County Council and BT to publish more details about the rollout so residents will know if and when they stand to benefit. 

The lack of equality in the project was also highlighted by villagers from St Martins and Weston Rhyn. They told the Star connection speeds in their area can be as slow as 0.5 Mbps and claimed improving this should be the scheme's top priority rather than bringing super-fast speeds to areas that already have reasonable coverage.