Since he was elected in 2010, Dr Dan has been leading the campaign for better broadband services in Suffolk. He has helped to secure £27 million of Government funding and as a result, many homes and businesses in Suffolk will soon be receiving a better broadband service than parts of London.

Dr Dan has helped to ensure that 95% of Suffolk's homes and businesses will receive high speed broadband by the end of 2019.

Suffolk County Council is now responsible for turning Government cash into the reality of faster broadband for all, and Dr Dan will continue to monitor progress and support the County Council to ensure that all houses in Suffolk get the high speed broadband they deserve.

As an MP,  Dr Dan spends a considerable amount of his time working in London and it is very easy to take for granted the ease of staying connected with work.  But on returning home to Suffolk, Dr Dan quickly notices the sharp contrast in connectivity when compared to London.  For this reason, Dr Dan is steadfastly committed to ensuring that broadband and mobile infrastructure here in Suffolk is brought up to the same standards as those enjoyed in more urban parts of the country.

Dr Dan shares the same frustrations as many of his constituents and understands the inconvenience of trying to work or access information with incredibly slow and intermittent broadband connectivity. It can no longer be said that superfast broadband is a "luxury add-on" service - it is vital infrastructure which enables and drives growth and investment into Suffolk's local economy, as well as ensuring reliable access for young people researching their studies and ultimately achieving their career aspirations. With public services constantly looking for new and innovative ways of working together across boundaries and sectors, fast and reliable digital connectivity is absolutely essential.

Although the constituency is predominantly rural, Dr Dan receives a surprising amount of feedback from people in North Ipswich who get in touch to highlight their lack of connectivity and download speeds, whether residential or commercial. Equally in some of the most rural parts of Central Suffolk it can be almost impossible to reach even the minimum download speeds and this is of great concern to Dr Dan. Living in rural communities, it is so easy for people to feel isolated and cut off from the wider community and approaching the longer days of winter, access to the internet and mobile coverage can often mean the difference between isolation and staying in touch with friends, family and vital services.

Rural communities are increasingly lacking in the choice of local amenities, which can be taken for granted by many of us and for Dr Dan, this highlights the need to ensure reliable and efficient broadband connectivity is available, no matter where this may be. The ability to shop online, bank online, or book a doctor's appointment and order prescriptions are becoming more commonplace, not to mention delivering cost savings for public services and the NHS, so it's simply vital to ensure that superfast broadband is available to all.

Dr Dan acknowledges that the Better Broadband for Suffolk programme has already made giant inroads into delivering superfast broadband across the county, but there remains a significant way to go in achieving the goal of 100% coverage.

This is why Dr Dan has called for a Broadband Summit meeting for Suffolk, being hosted by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and has secured the Minister with responsibility for Digital Services, the Rt. Hon. Matthew Hancock, MP to attend and set out his vision for Suffolk.

The closed Summit will bring together MPs and key organisations from across the county, from all sectors, all of whom will be looking to ensure that superfast broadband becomes a reality for all, and all driving to secure a clear, realistic and deliverable timeline for the remaining rollout.

Dr Dan is confident, that in partnership with Suffolk County Council and other key organisations, we can achieve 100% coverage here in Suffolk.

The need for reliable broadband connectivity is something which Dr Dan is steadfastly committed to seeing rolled out not only here in Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, but also across the entire county of Suffolk. For this reason, Dr Dan called a Broadband Summit meeting, to review progress to date but more importantly, to consider the challenges and timings for the remaining rollout.

On Friday 14 October, Dr Dan chaired the Broadband Summit, which was very kindly hosted by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and he was delighted to welcome the Minister with responsibility for Digital Services, the Rt. Hon. Matthew Hancock, who set out his vision for digital services here in Suffolk. The closed meeting brought together senior representatives from BT, Openreach, Suffolk County Council and key organisations representing their members' views, and was also attended by Dr Dan's fellow Suffolk MPs, Peter Aldous, Dr Therese Coffey, and Jo Churchill, all of whom brought to the meeting examples from within their own constituencies.

First and foremost, the meeting was quite rightly an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the Better Broadband for Suffolk programme and recognise that Suffolk truly is leading the field nationally in the rollout of better broadband provision. Dr Dan was delighted that on the day of the Summit meeting, Suffolk achieved another goal in being first in the country to sign a second contract for further rollout of broadband - welcome news indeed.

But for Dr Dan, the meeting was also an opportunity to reflect on what more needs to be done to bring reliable and efficient broadband connectivity to Central Suffolk and North Ipswich. The Digital Services Bill is currently going through Parliament and part of this means that the Government has committed to delivering a minimum Universal Service Obligation of 10Mbps to every premise in the UK. For some, this remains a long way off, but Dr Dan is encouraged that this is set to be achieved by 2020 and he will continue to monitor progress very closely indeed.

An interesting point raised at the meeting was the potential for Government to consider a dedicated and improved Universal Service Obligation of 15Mbps for businesses and Dr Dan has committed to work closely with his fellow Parliamentary colleagues to fully look into this possibility. It is absolutely critical for business confidence and the economy that our local businesses have all the tools they need to compete in an ever increasing global market, so digital connectivity should certainly be a priority.

Dr Dan is particularly heartened by the commitment of colleagues at Suffolk County Council, BT and Openreach to look to publish clearer timetables for those currently waiting to benefit from better broadband. This is certainly welcome news for residents and businesses, especially so for those in rural communities who will be able to benefit from accessing online services, or for students looking to research their homework online.

Dr Dan is reassured that those attending the meeting are all as committed as he is to ensuring the successful rollout of better broadband across Suffolk and has already called for a further meeting next year to review progress and celebrate further success stories as more people can access service.

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Dr Dan's work in Parliament

Written Answers — Department for Transport: A14: Bridges (10 Jul 2019)
Daniel Poulter: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many days the A14 Orwell Bridge has been closed in each year since 2000.

Written Answers — Department of Health and Social Care: Compulsorily Detained Psychiatric Patients (8 Jul 2019)
Daniel Poulter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of working-age adult mental-health bed admissions have taken place under the Mental Health Act 1983 in each year since 2009.