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Cllr Roodhouse raises concerns about broadband

October 26, 2020 10:41 PM
By Rugby Lib Dems

Jerry RoodhouseOn 13 October 2020, Councillor Jerry Roodhouse (Eastlands) raised the issue of broadband accessibility at Warwickshire County Council following concerns from residents and urged the Portfolio Holder to write to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to highlight the matter and issues around customer service.

In July, Councillor Roodhouse wrote to Virgin Media and received a response in October. Many residents were unable to get through and received no response from the provider.

Councillor Jerry Roodhouse's Question to Warwickshire County Council:

"Covid and working from home has shown how crucial a good broadband provider is along with a good connection. Customer experiences are very varied from these Page 16 County Council 13.10.20 providers and in some cases no responses are received to complaints. Will the Portfolio Holder undertake to write to the Secretary of State Rt Hon Oliver Dowden CBE, at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport with a copy to the LGA highlighting these concerns and asking that stronger standards of customer care need to be introduced?"

Response from the Portfolio Holder:

"I completely agree with you that secure and reliable access to fast Internet services has become critical to everyone, especially as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the increasing need to work from home. I can inform you that we already have plans in place to improve digital connectivity across Warwickshire, including fibre and 4G/5G mobile connectivity. Internet Service Providers are an additional link in the connectivity system, and it is also essential that they maintain a good level of performance.

"Overall, we are not aware of problems with any particular service providers but will certainly raise your concerns with DCMS. I would suggest, at this stage, we speak with our contact in DCMS, one of the Senior Policy Advisers working within the Barrier Busting Task Force in DCMS and get these concerns shared with both OFCOM and the Secretary of State. Hopefully, by taking this course of action we can escalate and work towards a resolution of the problem."

As a supplementary question Councillor Roodhouse asked that any letter go to the Secretary of State and the Local Government Association. This was agreed.

Member Question Time (Standing Order 7)