Broadband plan welcomed

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Plans announced this week by Ofcom on full fibre broadband have been welcomed.

They have announced how to make it easier and cheaper for companies to build ultrafast, ‘full-fibre’ broadband networks directly to UK homes and offices, using BT’s existing telegraph poles and ‘ducts’.

Local MP David Simpson said: “Rural broadband has been a major issue to many across Northern Ireland and to my constituents for a number of years. I welcome the new strategy by Ofcom to promote large-scale roll-out of ultrafast broadband, based on cable and fibre lines that go all the way to people’s doorsteps.

“This would provide an alternative to the mostly copper-based technologies and deliver welcome benefits to people and businesses in terms of choice, innovation and affordable prices.

“Another welcome announcement by Ofcom last week is their review of the price of standalone landline phone services, to ensure that customers receive value for money. This was an issue which many had raised with concerns that customers who buy landline services on their own are not being served well by the market, and are most acutely affected by price rises. This particularly affects elderly customers, who make up a significant proportion of standalone landline customers in the UK.

“Broadband and connectivity is hugely important for our business community. With the rise of on-line services, fast broadband can give businesses the opportunity to expand and grow which in turn can boost the local economy.

“I welcome this announcement by Ofcom and trust that measures can be put in place to roll this service out to customers and to further protect vulnerable groups from such unnecessary price hikes.”