Developing broadband infrastructure in North Devon is one of my top priorities, which is why I am chair of All-Party Parliamentary Group for Broadband and Digital Communication. To successfully level up North Devon and ensure that there are accessible career opportunities without leaving the community, it is essential that households have access to high speed broadband. I spoke to London Tech Week to highlight to the industry how far behind parts of rural Britain are.
I wanted to make it clear to the industry that 2030 is too far away to connect places like North Devon. Whilst here there is progress being made from Connecting Devon and Somerset, BDUK and Openreach there needs to be a more cohesive plan. Whilst some villages are lacking appropriate connection speeds, some are connected by multiple companies, who are not always aware of each other’s projects.
Alongside the physical infrastructure I called for more focus on career development. There is a shortage of engineers and I am sure with more encouragement there are students in places like North Devon that would relish the opportunity a career in tech can bring. Young people in North Devon deserve access to these skills and careers as much as any other young person across the UK, so I will keep pushing for North Devon to be better connected, to provide more opportunities to help level up our communities.