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Hinckley and Bosworth left lagging behind by the Government’s broken promise on broadband

February 7, 2022 3:39 PM

Boris Johnson's promise to provide 85% of homes and businesses in Hinckley and Bosworth with high-speed broadband by 2025 is set to be broken, local Liberal Democrats can reveal.

Analysis of House of Commons Library data by the party has found that jus 9.7% of premises in Bosworth constituency had gigabit broadband availability in 2021.

At the current rate of progress, only 10% of homes and businesses in areas will have gigabit access by 2025. This is well short of the Government's promise of providing 85% of premises with high-speed broadband by that date.

It comes as households and business owners in Hinckley and Bosworth brace themselves for the cost of broadband to skyrocket in April. Several broadband providers have announced their prices will go up by 9.3%, in line with CPI inflation of 5.4% in December - the biggest rise in almost thirty years.

With this hike on the way, Hinckley and Bosworth Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to legally require all broadband providers to automatically offer cheaper deals through 'social tariffs' for struggling families. This move could save as many as 9,096 people in Hinckley and Bosworth around £270 a year on their broadband bill.

Michael Mullaney Liberal Democrat Councillor for Hinckley De Montfort, said:

"These damning figures show the Conservatives are once again breaking their promises and failing to meet their targets to boost broadband speeds in Hinckley and Bosworth.

"This pandemic has shown how vital access to broadband is for learning, for work and for staying connected. But local families and businesses are being left in the digital slow lane and face crippling hikes to their broadband bills, on top of tax raids and soaring energy prices.

"The Liberal Democrats are demanding cheaper broadband deals for struggling families in our community, saving them hundreds of pounds a year. The Government cannot stand idly by while the cost of living crisis hits residents in Hinckley and Bosworth in the pocket."

Danny Findlay Borough Lib Dem Councillor for Burbage Sketchley and Stretton who has campaigned for better broadband coverage locally said "I have championed for better broadband and householder connectivity since being elected in 2019. It is shameful that key promises and target are being missed, time and time again.

"High speed broadband is no longer a 'nice to have' it is an essential service of everyday life. Whether that be connecting distant families and friends, education, work or leisure I would urge the Government to get real on the issue.

"Now is the time to stop under delivering and over promising, using an area in my constituency as an example, seven years to wait for this infrastructure is wholly unacceptable. Action, not words, is needed to drive down the installation lead times but more importantly bring the cost of the service down so that it is accessible to all."