Eddisbury MP welcomes extension of scheme to get more people connected

Eddisbury MP Antoinette Sandbach has welcomed the extension of a scheme designed to help people struggling with the slowest broadband speeds in the UK.

The Better Broadband Scheme, which provides a subsidy of up to £350 to enable access to an affordable basic broadband service to those people unable to get speeds of at least 2Mbps, has been extended for another year.

Antoinette, who since being elected in 2015 has been campaigning for better broadband across her constituency, said the announcement from Digital Minister, Matt Hancock, was great news for her constituents.

“I am delighted that the Better Broadband Scheme has been extended and will help more of my constituents, especially those who live in rural areas, get connected to faster broadband. This will not only improve living standards but be a major boost for businesses in Eddisbury. Our nation’s productivity is an issue that needs urgently addressing and investment in infrastructure can go a long way in improving the situation.”

Minister for Digital, Matt Hancock said:

“Thanks to the UK Government’s rollout of superfast broadband, more than 94 per cent of the UK can now access superfast broadband speeds and thousands more homes and businesses are being reached every week.

There is still more to be done to get decent broadband to all and the Better Broadband Scheme helps people with the very worst broadband, to provide immediate assistance to those most in need. I’m delighted to say we are extending the scheme to help people in some of the most rural and hard to reach areas of the country.”

Already more than 10,000 homes and businesses have benefitted from the scheme, with subsidies that are worth over £3 million in total. Originally due to conclude at the end of 2017, the steadily growing popularity of the scheme means that it will now be extended until the end of 2018.

Households and businesses that are eligible to take advantage of the Scheme are provided with a unique code by the Government that they can use to obtain an affordable basic broadband connection. The code does not have a specific fixed value but the subsidy contributes towards the installation and hardware costs to ensure that the customer’s first year costs are no more than £400.