When elected as MP for Rutland and Melton in 2019, Alicia Kearns MP vowed to improve broadband for rural areas, to prevent rural areas from being left behind.
Today, the Government announced the next phase in Project Gigabit: giving millions of people in rural England access to gigabit (1000 megabit) broadband – with Oakham and the surrounding areas in line to form part of the first phase of the expansion, with work beginning as soon as October 2021, and the rest of the county, alongside Melton, the Vale and Harborough villages following by 2023.
This follows May’s announcement that full broadband will come to almost 12,000 homes in Rutland in May.
Project Gigabit aims to target parts of the country left behind in broadband companies’ rollout plans, ensuring that rural communities are able to live and work with the fastest broadband available – with the speed and reliability to run businesses in rural areas.
Nationally, the £5 billion Project Gigabit will benefit up to 1,850,000 homes.
Alicia Kearns, MP for Rutland and Melton, PPS to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said:
“I promised to improve broadband for our communities in Rutland, Melton, the Vale and Harborough villages,and this follows upgrades to broadband for 12,000 homes in Rutland only 2 months ago.
“Fast broadband is the plumbing of the twenty-first century, and this exciting announcement shows that rural communities are at the heart of the Government’s agenda.
“No longer will rural areas be an afterthought, as gigabit broadband will allow the creativity, drive and innovation that exists in Rutland to host new and exciting businesses across our communities.”
Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
“Project Gigabit is our national mission to level up rural areas by giving them the fastest internet speeds on the market.
“Millions more rural homes and businesses will now be lifted out of the digital slow lane thanks to our mammoth £5 billion investment and one the quickest rollouts in Europe.
"This broadband revolution will create jobs, power up businesses and allow everyone to access vital services at lightning fast speed, helping us build back better from the pandemic.”