Ritchie raises NI broadband issues

Baroness Ritchie said she has pursued the Culture and Media Minister in the House of Lords to ensure more affordable accessibility to broadband services for people in Northern Ireland.

Monday, 12th July 2021, 9:45 am

Margaret Ritchie said: “Yesterday in the House of Lords during Question Time, I urged the Culture and Media Minister, Baroness Barran to ensure more affordable accessibility to broadband service provision for people in Northern Ireland – many of whom reside in isolated rural communities who are faced with challenges such as the cost of the service and the level of speeds.

“The pandemic has shown all of us how indispensable broadband is and has allowed people to continue to manage their lives, and in some instances it has proved to be unaffordable for many. Recent research has found that 2.5 million people throughout the UK are behind on their broadband bills. Those falling behind on their bills ultimately face their broadband being disconnected and losing a service they may be relying on for work, education and accessing essential services such as healthcare or government support. That same research has also revealed that 18 to 34 years olds are three times as likely to be behind on their broadband bill than older people and those with children under 18 are three times as likely to be behind as those in households without children,” added the Baroness.

“In view of the evidence from this report revealing piercing levels of poverty for those who have to rely on broadband provision to work and for other essential services, I asked the Minister what plans does the government have to monitor the effectiveness of social tariffs offered by broadband providers.”