Ian Austin

Independent for Dudley North

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Austin celebrates success for superfast broadband campaign

Dudley MP Ian Austin is celebrating the award of £6 million in funding for superfast broadband in the Black Country.

The funding means 95% of the Black Country will be covered by superfast broadband by 2017.

Austin has been campaigning to get the Government to back superfast broadband in the Black Country, badgering Government ministers with a series of letters, written to local councils and providers like BT and tabled a series of Parliamentary Questions, in addition to raising the issue in the local media.

In a letter to Austin the Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey has said that the Black Country Consortium has put together £3 million in funding in partnership with all four Black Country councils, which will be matched by a further £3 million in funding from Broadband Delivery UK.

Providers are now drawing up plans to deliver the scheme and will announce the areas that will benefit in the next six months.

Austin has written back to Mr Vaizey and is writing to the LEP urging them to guarantee 100% coverage in Dudley at the earliest opportunity.

Ian Austin said:

“Constituents got in touch with me after being told by broadband companies that there were no plans for Dudley to get superfast broadband.

“Places like London have been the first to benefit and I don’t see why Dudley should be left behind, so I’m really pleased 95% of people in the Black Country will now be covered.

“I’m pleased the Black Country Consortium and local councils have made this progress, but now I want the Government to guarantee that Dudley will get covered as soon as possible.”

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