Search

Politcians and businesses slam ‘national embarrassment’ of Tech City broadband

11:29 03 July 2014

Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch, spoke today at PMQs

Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch, spoke today at PMQs

Archant

Businesses and politicians have slammed the government’s plans for Shoreditch’s Tech City after it emerged a third of its businesses are still without high-speed broadband following a two-year battle.

Despite small villages up and down the country having the service, large swathes of Hackney are still without fast internet, with Labour MP Meg Hillier branding it a “national embarrassment”.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport told the Gazette there are £3,000 grants available to help businesses access high-speed internet.

But this has been described by Ms Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch, as “a joke”.

Dubbed Tech City by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2010, Shoreditch’s Silicon Roundabout has been fighting ever since to get the much-needed service to its growing number of start-ups and small businesses.

Ms Hillier said it is not just businesses that are being affected.

She said: “I’ve had letters from constituents who work from home and they need access to high-speed internet. This is a joke, frankly.

“You can’t just throw money at a problem, it’s the infrastructure that needs changing.”

She added: “BT have done very well out of the public purse.”

Ms Hillier’s comments came after Andrew Dismore, chairman of the London Assembly’s Economy Committee, said it was “in BT’s interest to constrain the market” and that statutory regulations needed to be imposed.

During a heated exchange in Parliament last week, Ms Hillier demanded to know what David Cameron would do to fix the issue, which had plagued businesses across the borough.

She told the Commons: “They’ve had breakfast with Boris, tea at No. 10 and dancing with the Business Secretary, but small businesses in Shoreditch still cannot get super-fast broadband.

“This is now a national embarrassment.”

The Prime Minister said that the newly-appointed Business Secretary Sajid Javid is “working very hard” to fix the problem and that he would ensure Hackney was on his list.

A petition is already doing the rounds online calling on London Mayor Boris Johnson to provide affordable fibre-optic broadband to the area as soon as possible.

Rohan Sinclair Luvaglio, from mobile phone app company Bizzby, said: “This isn’t only about broadband. If you look at the bigger picture, there is no tangible support for serious start-ups.

“The basic ingredients to build an entrepreneurial start-up ecosystem do not yet exist in the UK, particularly in Tech City.”

Ms Hillier also mentioned Tech City company Moo.com, which had to wait more than a year for connection.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington News Stories

09:00
Islington Gazette: August 29, 1986

Daredevil Gooners seeking a bird’s eye view of Arsenal games were warned they were dicing with death.

Yesterday, 09:00
Peter and Alan Arthy at the Mears Group HQ in Caledonian Road

“I was 14 and the career officer came round. He said to me ‘right you’ve got three options; making women’s handbags, a dustman or a painter and decorator’.”

Friday, August 26, 2016
Fabric nightclub in Charterhouse Street. Picture: Polly Hancock

Two 18-year-old boys who died after taking ecstasy at Fabric had bought the class A drug from strangers inside the Farringdon club, where substance abuse is rife and security lax, an explosive report today alleges.

Friday, August 26, 2016
Emergency services and displaced commuters outside Caledonian Road and Barnsbury station (Picture: Sam Gelder)

A commuter has described his horror at seeing a boy attacked on a bus in Caledonian Road, in an incident believed to be linked to a stabbing on a nearby Overground platform.

Friday, August 26, 2016
John Ball, pictured on January 31, on the balcony of the second floor flat in which he died

Firefighters called to a housing block three times could not have saved the alcoholic found dead in his soot-covered flat the next day, a coroner has ruled.

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Emergency services and displaced commuters outside Caledonian Road and Barnsbury station (Picture: Sam Gelder)

Two boys are believed to have been stabbed in a group fight at Caledonian Road and Barnsbury station this afternoon, leaving one seriously injured while another fled onto a passing bus.

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Angela Sinclair 92 years old @  Save Whittington Hospital March

A stalwart campaigner for social justice who continued going on protest marches into her 90s has died.

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Masjid Al-risaalah mosque and Islington Islamic Centre. (Picture: Google Maps).

A man in his late 40s was stabbed outside a Holloway mosque in broad daylight on Tuesday afternoon.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now