Mark Francois MP Hosts Rural Broadband Summit

Rayleigh and Wickford MP, Mark Francois, recently held a summit in his Westminster office on extending superfast fibreoptic broadband to rural areas in South Essex, including the communities of Paglesham and Canewdon. Mark was joined at the meeting by representatives from Openreach and the respective chairs of Paglesham Parish Council and Canewdon Parish Council.

Mark organised the meeting between these stakeholders, as the Superfast Essex programme (part of the Government’s wider Superfast Britain programme) enters its next stage to connect the more rural locations in the county to access superfast broadband to enable economic growth and improve residents’ quality of life.

Following the conclusion of the meeting, both parish councils agreed to inform Openreach which properties were not yet able to be connected, Openreach agreed to then dispatch engineers to help connect the properties to the scheme using Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technology, which is more appropriate for rural communities which struggle to be connected using the Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) method.

Commenting on the summit, Mark Francois MP said:

“I was pleased to host both David Whittingham and Lynne Van Houten, the respective Chairs of Paglesham Parish Council and Canewdon Parish Council, along with representatives from Openreach, for what was an important and productive meetingat Westminster. The rolling out of superfast fibreoptic broadband has been a priority of this Government, since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister. Not only does it encourage economic growth in rural communities like Paglesham and Canewdon, but it improves the quality of life for residents, who otherwise might be completely isolated. I was delighted to hear that Openreach will be addressing these broadband black spots as a matter of urgency, I thank them for taking rural communities’ concerns seriously.”