Whilst out on the campaign trail, Dr Dan took some time out to deliver an update on broadband.
Since being elected in 2010, Dr Dan has worked tirelessly to help secure better broadband for the people of Central Suffolk and North Ipswich and he was delighted to help secure around £30 million of Conservative Government money to secure the rollout of better broadband.
Far from being a luxury item, good and reliable broadband connectivity is essential to daily living, especially so in a rural county. Broadband is vital infrastructure which enables and drives growth and investment into Suffolk's local economy, as well as ensuring reliable access for young people researching their studies and ultimately achieving their career aspirations. With public services constantly looking for new and innovative ways of working together across boundaries and sectors, fast and reliable digital connectivity is absolutely essential.
Although the constituency is predominantly rural, Dr Dan receives a surprising amount of feedback from people in North Ipswich who get in touch to highlight their lack of connectivity and download speeds, whether residential or commercial. Equally in some of the most rural parts of Central Suffolk it can be almost impossible to reach even the minimum download speeds and this is of great concern to Dr Dan. Living in rural communities, it is so easy for people to feel isolated and cut off from the wider community and approaching the longer days of winter, access to the internet and mobile coverage can often mean the difference between isolation and staying in touch with friends, family and vital services.
Rural communities are increasingly lacking in the choice of local amenities, which can be taken for granted by many of us and for Dr Dan, this highlights the need to ensure reliable and efficient broadband connectivity is available, no matter where this may be. The ability to shop online, bank online, or book a doctor's appointment and order prescriptions are becoming more commonplace, not to mention delivering cost savings for public services and the NHS, so it's simply vital to ensure that superfast broadband is available to all.
Clearly the Better Broadband for Suffolk programme has already made giant inroads into delivering superfast broadband across the county, but there remains a significant way to go in achieving the goal of 100% coverage.
This is why Dr Dan will continue to fight hard to secure the faster and more reliable broadband services that the people of Central Suffolk and North Ipswich deserve.
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