Selaine Saxby MP
Chair of the Broadband and Digital Communication All-Party Parliamentary Group
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Connecting Devon and Somerset has been a challenge for so many different reasons over the years, but the back has been broken now in many parts of both counties.
However, as MP for North Devon I still hear from far too many villages unable to connect, or now increasingly have multiple connections.
Broadband connectivity has certainly improved in rural Devon, but there is still plenty of room for further improvement in not just connections, but use. Being behind the technical curve, and with an older population we see take up rates of new faster services still low, and access to broadband in many of our more deprived communities still poor.
This digital divide manifests itself in use of services such as online pharmacy, post pandemic educational outcomes for those students who could not readily access computers, as well as skills to access some of the new schemes for our vital farming community.
Its not just getting a fibre into a village that constitutes a connection – it is ensuring the village utilises it and it opens opportunities and improves connections, rather than be something that can make remote living even more cut off from the fast pace and connections of more urban parts of the country.
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