Michael Fabricant put in a plea for Burntwood businessmen last night (Tuesday 3rd December) in a speech he gave in Parliament on the new Communications Bill. Michael told Secretary of State Tessa Jowell that the Communications Bill needs to address the unfairness by which broadband internet connections are available in some parts of the UK but BT steadfastly refuses to deliver them to other parts. "This does not just affect rural areas", Michael Fabricant says "but towns like Burntwood too which has a larger population than that of Lichfield which already has access to broadband. This is holding back business and other organisations in Burntwood which are deprived from gaining advantage from the new technology. BT must make the necessary upgrades to its telephone exchanges in the area".
In the same debate, Michael slammed the Government for allowing the BBC to be its own "judge and jury" when complaints are made against it. "Why when I receive complaints from my constituents about BBC programmes is the BBC the final arbiter when every other broadcaster is controlled by external regulators?" he asked. "Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done" he added.
The Communications Bill will now go to Committee where its detailed provisions concerning media ownership, broadcasting and the internet will be examined and changed if agreed. It is hoped that changes will be made to speed up broadband internet roll out and how the BBC is controlled to put them on a par with the regulation of other broadcasters.