The fight goes on, says Horncastle MP

Horncastle MP Victoria Atkins has vowed to keep up pressure on internet companies to improve broadband services in her constituency.

More than 140 people attended a broadband summit organised by Ms Atkins in Maltby-le-Marsh.

The ‘guest list’ included representatives from BT, OnLincolnshire, Virgin Media, Quickline and parish and county councillors.

The summit came just hours after Virgin Media confirmed a new superfast fibre optic broadband service would be available in Louth as part of a multi-million pound investment programme across the country.

According to Virgin, residents and business in Louth will now have access to some of the fastest broadband speeds in the country.

Ms Atkins has urged Virgin to consider rolling out the faster service in other communities in her constituency.

Speaking after the summit, Ms Atkins said: “More than 140 constituents - including parish and district councillors, farmers, business people and others - came to express their frustration at the slow pace of broadband”

“I invited BT, OnLincolnshire, Virgin Media, Quickline and councillors to put the case, explain the problems and offer solutions.

“Maltby-le-Marsh featured last year as receiving very slow connectivity in the county and residents have pressed me for action.

“I was pleased that OnLincolnshire announced at the summit that 540 postcodes within the constituency will be fitted with superfast broadband within a year.

“That represents nearly a quarter of the next phase of investment.

“I was delighted to have been the catalyst for this declared progress.

“We must now keep them up to the mark.

“I urged Virgin Media and other providers to look beyond Louth and to invest across the constituency. I hope that once the programme is established in Louth, Virgin will want to press forward across the constituency.”

Ms Atkins has made securing quicker broadband speeds a priority after declaring a slow or sometimes non-existent service was damaging the local economy and frustrating residents.

She said all the indications were the service was getting better and many people in the Horncastle area confirmed broadband speeds have improved.

However, some residents - particularly in outlying villages - say improvements are still needed. Paul Fraser, who lives near Tetford, said: “It might be great in towns but villages are still struggling. We all pay the same, but we don’t get the same quality of service.”