The Swindon Labour Group will be moving a motion at the next Full Council Meeting at Swindon Council calling on the Conservative Cabinet to remove North Swindon from its 4G LTE Broadband rollout. The motion calls on the Cabinet to remove North Swindon from the scheme in order to enable productive discussions between the Council, the North Swindon MP and commercial broadband providers to install fibre optic broadband across North Swindon.
The Labour Group’s Shadow Lead for Economic Development, Councillor Des Moffatt, has said that should discussions with fibre optic broadband providers make little progress after 6 months of taking North Swindon out of the 4G LTE Broabdand Rollout then there would be grounds for inserting North Swindon back in to UK Broadband Network’s 4G LTE programme if suitable sites can be found for the radio antenna.
The motion follows recent news that UK Broadband has withdrawn applications for radio masts across North Swindon to deliver Superfast Broadband and that North Swindon’s MP, Justin Tomlinson, has said he is in discussions with a commercial broadband provider about bringing fibre optic broadband in to North Swindon.
The UK Broadband Network’s rollout is requiring £1.9m of public subsidy to rollout 4G LTE Broadband
The mover of the motion and Labour Group’s Shadow Lead for Economic Development, Councillor Des Moffatt, said:
“We are calling on the Conservative Cabinet to consider dropping the urban parts of North Swindon out of their Superfast Broadband deal with UK Broadband in order to encourage commercial broadband providers to install fibre optic broadband in these areas. Fibre optic broadband is what North Swindon residents would prefer and is something we should be seeking if at all possible.
We are very worried at the moment that commercial broadband providers will not consider installing fibre optic broadband in North Swindon because of the publically funded broadband scheme the Council is sponsoring. Any commercial operator simply wouldn’t want the competition and would choose to invest in other areas. So we are suggesting that, in order to send a message to broadband providers that we would welcome fibre optic broadband in urban North Swindon, we will take this area out from the UK Broadband scheme and then review the progress of fibre optic broadband in North Swindon in 6 months’ time.
The timing of this motion is very important as the North Swindon MP has already said he has been in discussions with commercial broadband providers about bringing fibre optic broadband in to urban parts of North Swindon. If the motion passes we think this will help him in his pursuit of bringing in fibre optic broadband.”