75% rise in political references to broadband

ISPA analysis has revealed a big increase in broadband references in Parliament, showing that political interest in broadband has risen by 75% overall from the first inner months of the 2010-15 Parliament to the first months of this current Parliament.

By comparing the number of debates and parliamentary questions in three political periods since the 2010 election, it is clear that MPs and constituents care more than ever about broadband and the Internet.

Written questions from MPs on broadband increased 59% and broadband was mentioned 63% more in the House of Commons in the nine months since the election in 2015 compared to the first nine months in 2010.

There have been six debates on broadband since May 2015, compared to none in the same period after the 2010 election. In total these three categories have seen a 75% increase in broadband discussions.

In this Parliament to date, there have been a range of select committee inquiries looking in to broadband as well as issues like the digital economy, cyber security, big data and the Investigatory Powers Bill.

New all-party groups have been established looking at the digital economy, broadband and e-crime. This in part can be explained by newer MPs more familiar with technology, a government-backed rollout programme and the increased number of constituent queries into broadband.

The backdrop to this is the ever increasing take up of superfast broadband with hundreds of providers rolling out national, regional or local networks, and others reselling these services adding expert knowledge and support.

Ofcom research shows that the average UK speed is now 29Mbps. With 85% of adults now using the Internet regularly, and the rise of connected devices, it is clear that the Internet is fundamental for all households. However, there are some debates ahead, for example on how to meet the 10Mpbs Universal Service Obligation, the future regulatory framework and removing barriers to make rolling out broadband easier.

ISPA Chair James Blessing said: "The massive investment in broadband from ISPA members has helped the Internet become an essential part of our daily lives and this is reflected in the level of parliamentary interest.

"That isn't to say broadband rollout isn't without challenges and I am glad ISPA is proactively connecting ISPs with local MPs on how to bring the transformative effects of broadband to communities throughout the UK."

Related Topics

Share this story