Julian highlights concerns over the future flood resilience of York’s communications infrastructure
February 12, 2016
During a debate in Parliament this week, Julian raised the communications problems York residents faced during the Boxing Day floods.
Raising the issue with the Digital Economy Minister, Ed Vaizey, Julian asked “The Minister will be well aware that not only the North-West but York suffered badly from flooding and we lost telecommunications for a number of days across the city. What can he do to bring the telecommunications industry to account to deliver a flood resilience scheme that can match the country’s need?”
Responding to Julian’s concerns the Minister explained “My hon. Friend is quite right to bring me to account… flooding did affect two key infrastructure sites: one was at the BT exchange in York… The flooding in York on 27 December affected about 50,000 fixed-line and 46,000 broadband customers and there were knock-on impacts on mobile operators whose networks went through the exchange. BT brought the system back online within 24 hours and it worked with the fire service to protect the exchange, because Storm Frank was on its way.”
Following the debate, Julian welcomed the action that BT had taken but warned that York’s communications infrastructure needs to be made more resilient to future floods. He said “The flooding was made all the more worrying for local residents as they could not telephone to check that their relatives and loved-ones were safe. I will be following this important issue up with BT as it is essential that the future resilience of the network is improved to prevent this from happening again”.