As reported in the Barnsley News and Sport on 7th February and the Barnsley Chronicle on 16th February, Stephanie has written to the Government to demand answers after revealing statistics that showed her Barnsley East constituency’s broadband speed and connections are well below average.
According to independent analysis undertaken by the House of Commons Library, Barnsley East trails the rest of the country when it comes to speed and access to vital broadband connections.
The figures revealed, for instance, that average broadband speeds in Barnsley East are 20 per cent lower than the national average.
Superfast availability is also lower than average, whilst there is 0 per cent availability of full fibre broadband in the constituency.
Within Barnsley East, Hoyland Milton ward’s average internet speed of 21 Mbps puts it in the worst 10 per cent of wards in the UK, whilst Darfield, North East and Rockingham wards also reside in the worst 30 per cent for broadband speed in the country.
Stephanie Peacock’s letter, addressed to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport raises the sub-standard quality of Barnsley East’s broadband access, and demands answers over the Government’s plans to address the constituency’s digital exclusion.
She said: “Access to fast and reliable broadband is absolutely essential to the way of life for so many people and businesses in our community.
“Sub-standard broadband risks stunting the growth of local businesses as they trail competitors elsewhere, and digital exclusion can be devastating for those who rely on the internet for necessities like arranging health appointments or applying for welfare payments.
“But these figures show that our community is being left behind when it comes to access to broadband speeds and connectivity, with levels way below the national average.
“I’ve written to the Government to demand answers on what steps they intend to take to prevent Barnsley East being held back by a lack of high quality broadband for any longer.”