A digital minister promoting the government’s gigabit rollout this morning suffered a technical glitch while giving a radio interview on LBC.
In a stroke of irony, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport minister Matt Warman’s connection failed after he told Nick Ferrari all about the Tories’ “huge progress”.
The poorly timed technical error was met with Ferrari quipping: “This is handy as you’re the broadband minister. You can’t hear me, can you? That is sensational and the picture’s frozen.
“So there we go, we’ve got the government banging on about however many billon pounds’ worth it is of… gigabit and he can’t take the question.
“You can’t hear me but I’ll be polite, Matt Warman, minister for digital, culture, media and sport, talking about the progress of broadband and the line collapses, but thank you for your time.”
Current Secretary of State for DCMS Nadine Dorries tweeted that 70 per cent of UK homes and businesses now had access to “reliable, high-speed internet connections”.
The government made a commitment to deliver gigabit broadband to a minimum of 85 per cent of premises nationwide by 2025 with the rest by 2030.
In January, the Commons public accounts committee flagged that it was not convinced that the targets would be met.
As reported by The Times, the government is reportedly fast-tracking thousands of foreign workers to help telecom firms with the broadband rollout.
In a letter to businesses, Priti Patel, the home secretary, wrote: “The Home Office is on standby to help you and your sub-contractors understand the immigration system and receive an expedited service.”
A government spokeswoman told the paper: “We’re funding the biggest broadband rollout in British history and we are supporting broadband companies to source the essential skilled workers they urgently need. We will not be providing a running commentary on the number of workers required or visas issued.”