95% of premises in Thirsk and Malton should be connected by 2021 and I have put forward proposals to the Digital Secretary, Matt Hancock, for fixed wireless alternatives for the remaining businesses and households still waiting to be connected.
Fixed wireless packages have been successfully developed and deployed by local companies, including Quickline, Beeline, Boundless and Moorsweb. They offer decent download speeds and unlike satellite, do not suffer from latency or low data caps.
It’s really good news that Superfast North Yorkshire has recently entered into a further contract (Phase 3) with BT as part of the Government’s Superfast Broadband Programme. 84 per cent of premises in the constituency are currently able to benefit from superfast broadband. Phase 3 will take coverage to approximately 95 per cent of premises in North Yorkshire by June 2021. But this leaves five per cent of my constituents without access to fibre in the medium to long term. So I would like to see BT develop a fixed wireless strategy for rural areas; they could work with third party suppliers to deliver a holistic solution.
I suggested this to the Secretary of State and asked if it would be possible to make funds available for fixed wireless broadband for areas that will not be connected to fibre in the coming years and he has promised to look into it.