Ensuring high quality broadband reaches every corner of our constituency is a key priority for me. Farmers need to access livestock movement reports online, grandparents want to see their grandkids on Skype, small rural businesses should be able to sell all over the world, and we all want to stay connected and informed. My time spent in Silicon Valley showed me how powerful technology can be in transforming our lives for the better.
I spent a long time with key executives from NyNet, the organisation set up by North Yorkshire County Council to deliver broadband across the constituency. The good news is that 90% of North Yorkshire will have superfast broadband by Spring 2015. North Yorkshire is ahead of almost all other local authorities in England when it comes to rolling out broadband across a rural area.
However, this is probably scant comfort for those of us in the 10% without a connection. If elected, it will be a major priority for me to work with central government, NyNet and technology companies to ensure we can get a decent connection to every part of the constituency. We may well need to look at other technologies like mobile and satellite. Although these technologies cannot match the speed of superfast fiber broadband, it will be better to have a decent connection rather than nothing at all.