Reference Library – England – Somerset Broadband

North Dorset MP Simon Hoare backs broadband bill

Simon Hoare MP is backing a new bill that should benefit rural areas including his North Dorset constituency. He praised the Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill in the House of Commons. During the debate he said small shire districts that areaways seeking to be more efficient would benefit greatly from the bill.

He said: “It will be absolutely crucial for the farmer in my constituency who is trying to buy or sell stock and make their submission to the Rural Payments Agency to have fast, reliable broadband of a speed and regularity of service.”

He said it was also important for delivery services in rural areas that are not particularly well served by rural public transport.

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Mr Hoare also highlighted the advantages for tourism with promotion of hotel and pub rooms, visitor attractions and interactive tourist information centres in areas where local authorities have reduced support and services.

He pointed out the benefits made possible in education and the advantages of receiving faster films and sports coverage.

Mr Hoare suggested to fellow MPs that they “remind ourselves of the most enormous strides made in broadband provision for all our constituents and constituencies, urban and rural.”

MP Ian Liddell-Grainger gives his support to broadband campaign

BRIDGWATER and West Somerset MP Ian Liddell-Grainger1 has applauded a new campaign aimed at extending super-fast broadband to more of the country – and the countryside in particular. It’s been launched by the consumer magazine Which? under the banner of ‘Fix Bad Broadband’.

And Mr Liddell-Grainger, Conservative2 member for Bridgwater and West Somerset, said he was ‘really thrilled’ to be supporting it when he attended the inauguration this week.

“I am one of many MPs in rural areas who know what a lousy broadband deal so many families are still getting – and how worthless that makes many of the claims the service providers continue to make for the coverage they provide,” he said.

“Unfortunately the way the telecommunications industry is structured makes it very difficult to hold anyone’s feet to the fire.

“The situation really needs a well-coordinated national campaign to highlight not only the difference between urban and rural serve provision but how clunkingly slow broadband speeds are acting like a sheet anchor on thousands of rural businesses.


has a most impressive track record of campaign successes and I have every confidence it will soon be notching up another.”


  1. ^ Ian Liddell-Grainger (
  2. ^ Conservative (

Broadband, blight on Somerset County residents’ minds

SOMERSET – Open houses held Monday night in Somerset and Windber provided “real good data” to the leaders of a project designed to improve sustainability in Pennsylvania’s six-county Southern Alleghenies region, Somerset County Commissioner James T. Yoder said Tuesday. The events, during which members of the public told county officials and other leaders about the most pressing challenges facing their communities, were part of a week-long series of 19 open houses put on as part of the Alleghenies Ahead project.

“We actually gleaned quite a bit of input, feedback, ideas from the people that were there.

“There was some real good data that we collected last night,” Yoder said.

“Our steering committee members were taking notes.”

The two issues on most attendees’ minds were the existence of blighted properties and the limited availability of broadband internet in the region, Yoder and fellow Commissioner John Vatavuk said. Windber officials have begun working with property owners to get blighted houses and other buildings torn down, Vatavuk said, adding that five such properties have been demolished since that effort started.

Meanwhile, Somerset County is in a good position to increase broadband internet availability, Vatavuk said, since the county has received more than $1.5 million in grants this year to improve internet speeds. The Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce announced in May that it will award $569,204 to Somerset County to expand the county’s fiber-optic communications infrastructure. The Appalachian Regional Commission awarded a similar $948,673 grant to the county in January.

The commissioners have said that having widely available high-speed broadband internet service is now an economic necessity.

“As we move forward, it just becomes more and more important to be able to connect with everyone instantly,” Commissioner Gerald Walker said when the EDA grant was announced. Eighteen people attended the Somerset open house, while nine attended the event in Windber, Commissioner Gerald Walker said. More open houses in the series will be held Wednesday and Thursday in Cambria and Somerset counties.

The commissioners urged as many people as possible to attend, saying public input is vital to the future of the project and of the Southern Alleghenies region. Leaders from Cambria, Somerset, Bedford, Blair, Fulton and Huntingdon counties are working together to update their counties’ comprehensive plans, as mandated by the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code of 1968, under the umbrella of the Alleghenies Ahead project. The open houses are designed to help project leaders develop county-specific “action plans” with input from community members.

Alleghenies Ahead is sponsored by Southern Alleghenies Planning & Development Commission, the state Department of Community & Economic Development and the six project counties.

More information, including a complete list of open house times and locations, is available online at allegheniesahead.com1.


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