Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Peter Lilley has won the backing of Ed Vaizey, the Minister responsible for Communications, for his campaign to bring high speed broadband in the Hitchin Industrial Area. Armed with letters from 35 Hitchin businesses complaining of the poor internet connection in the estate, Peter went to see Ed Vaizey who agreed to use his influence to ensure that BT will sign “within weeks” a contract covering this area. This will be partly funded by the £3.07million the government has already allocated to help Hertfordshire speed up high speed roll out in the County.

    “My next step will be to meet BT to press them to give priority within this roll out to covering the industrial estate, since the entire contract is likely to cover two years,” Peter explained following the meeting.  

    “It is extraordinary that high speed broadband has been provided for most of the surrounding residential area but not the industrial estate.   At a time when we are trying to rebuild and strengthen British industry, business areas should be given priority in getting access to what is now a vital business asset.”

    “After I raised the issue, some 35 businesses in Hitchin have written to me complaining about the poor internet infrastructure in the area,” said Peter.

    “I have received an assurance from the Minister that BT will sign a contract to undertake work that will include this industrial area in the next few weeks. This is great news as high speed broadband is essential for businesses in Hertfordshire to be competitive and continue to grow and access customers across the world.”

    Peter also received assurances from the Minister that the government is asking Ofcom to review leased lines tariffs to ensure that providers do not maintain business tariffs artificially high.

    Notes to Editors:

    The Hitchin industrial estate is served by the Hitchin exchange, which has already been upgraded to deliver fibre broadband.   But BT Openreach did not include the cabinet that serves this area in the original upgrade process.

    Hertfordshire County Council has received government funding of £3.07m to support the roll-out of superfast broadband across the county.