Dear Prime Minister, Chancellor, Mr Williamson and Mr Dowden,
I am writing to ask you to reinstate DCMS BDUK “Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme”. The scheme provided funding for alternative broadband for households in England and was delivered by suppliers across England.
We know that the Government has provided 4G routers to schoolchildren however these do not work in areas with little or no 4G coverage; they often do not work very well in areas with reasonable 4G! This creates an unfair and unnecessary digital divide.
We are based in Norfolk and are the market leader in the specialist supply of 4G services, specifically to premises where there is little or no mobile phone signal. We deliver superfast broadband over 4G to places that no other company can get to and we can easily do this for rural-based schoolchildren where standard 4G routers will fail. We can have this service up and running in 48 hours as we did for various rural sites for Norfolk County Council at the start of the pandemic. It is really not difficult to do, we do this “all day, every day”.
Yesterday I wrote to the Leader of every County Council, offering to supply households with our basic service at a significantly reduced cost. It is a little more expensive than any dongles or 4G routers you may have come across, but quite simply those methods often do not work in rural areas, whereas the SimRush service does.
We are also offering cheap unlimited data packages so no family needs to worry about expensive pay-as-you-go or out of bundle charges. We can supply unlimited data directly to families on O2 starting at just £20 + vat per month, for a minimum three-month term with no credit checks. Please would you encourage Council Leaders to engage with us so we can help?
As you will know, funding for alternative broadband solutions was available from BDUK in England until December 2019. I think the Government should reinstate that funding considering the recent school closures due to the pandemic. It’s not fair to children in England that suppliers of alternative broadband solutions that really do work, can provide services fully funded to households in devolved areas but not to those who live in England.
There is just no need for children not to have access to the internet. Please reinstate the funding and let us help remove the digital divide and get school children connected.
We look forward to hearing from you.