May 26, 2011
mentioned in Commons broadband debate
was mentioned in a House of Commons debate about broadband Internet
access in Somerset this week.
Burnham's MP, Tessa Munt, highlighted this website as an
example of how Internet access can be successfully used as she
backed Somerset's bid for a new superfast broadband service.
As we reported earlier
this year, both Somerset and Devon have submitted a joint
bid for millions of pounds of funding to upgrade Internet access
across the region. If successful, superfast broadband speeds around
ten times that of normal broadband would become available as part
of a £530m central government project.
Tessa's comments in the House of Commons came after she met Parliamentary
Under-Secretary of State Ed Vaizey, the minister responsible for
telecommunications and broadband, to back the Somerset and Devon
Local Enterprise Partnership's bid.
She told the Commons debate: "I should like to speak for
the Somerset half of that Somerset and Devon bid, which would
make such a fantastic difference."
"Many honourable members have made points about farmers,
young people and old people, but, in my area, many who have retired
to Somerset because it is such a beautiful place can stay in their
town centre homes and, using broadband, can access facilities
and services such as shopping deliveries."
"Rural post offices also benefit from broadband. Businesses
use the internet in my towns, and individuals use eBay and Amazon
to sell and buy goods. In my post office, there are queues of
people who want to send small parcels and envelopes containing
things that people have bought, which props up our post office
thank the Minister for meeting me to discuss broadband in Somerset.
I pointed out to him that I am running, with the Administration
Committee, an iPad trial."
"The iPad is fantastic when I am here in London, and completely
useless when I am in Somerset, where I cannot access anything
because the broadband service is so poor."
"Where it works, broadband is the most fantastic thing.
One area of my constituency that has a good service is Burnham
and Highbridge. Burnham-On-Sea has a website burnham-on-sea.com.
Some 7,000 or 8,000 people live in Burnham, but that website gets
15,000 unique visitor hits per day, and 50,000 pages are downloaded
every day. That rate goes up during the summer tourist season,
which is critical, because 26,000 people are employed in tourism
in Somerset alone. They depend on people coming to Somerset for
their holidays and knowing what they can do and what facilities
they can access."
"I thank the Minister for the trouble he has taken to listen
to the Somerset and Devon bid, and I hope, as it is bound to do,
that it brings success to our counties in business and every other
sense, particularly for residents."