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 Hackney 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 Hackney 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 Hackney 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 Hackney News Stories

Constantin and Dean Lawson

A burns victim has thanked the quick-thinking fire crew from Homerton who helped save his life after he suffered 98 per cent burns in a horrific fire.

16:18
The Prince Edward pub is 150 years old (Picture: Dieter Perry)

Not interested in paying upwards of £4.50 for a pint? Fed up of fancy sausage rolls and scotch eggs? Sam Gelder tells the 150-year story of one of Hackney’s last “proper” pubs.

First time buyers in Hackney will need to earn 12 times the average local salary to get a foot on the ladder

Hackney is the second least affordable place in the UK to buy a first home.

17:01
The Yard Theatre, Hackney Wick.

The futures of six arts projects in Hackney have been given a major boost thanks to Arts Council England grants.

07:00
Luca Ricca died while visiting friends in London for the weekend. (Picture: Facebook).

An Italian musician died after going missing on a night out in Hackney while visiting friends for the weekend.

Hackney Town Hall in  Mare Street.

Council land which is currently taken up by derelict buildings, council depots and for the most part empty garages could be turned into around 140 new homes for social renting as part of an “innovative” scheme to help tackle London’s housing crisis.

Yesterday, 17:27
The Shapes nightclub in Wallace Road, Hackney (Picture: Vikki Lince)

A nightclub owner closed his own venue 24 hours before councillors were set to review its licence over an alleged rape at a private sex party.

Yesterday, 17:19
Brewing at Hackney Brewery, under a railway arch in Haggerston

In the last year alone, there has been a 24 per cent rise of craft breweries opening in London – and one in five breweries in the capital call Hackney “home”. Emma Bartholomew explores why Hackney is such a hub

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

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.

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hackney Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now