I recently met with Openreach to raise my concerns over their response to Storm Arwen.
Some of my constituents were without broadband connection for over two months. We all understand the extent of the storm's damage, and the difficulties involved for the engineers on the ground. They did a brilliant job under the circumstances.
However, like other key stakeholders in response to the storm, Openreach's communications with local people across Tynedale and Ponteland has been poor.
I also raised the issue of the switch from copper telephone lines to digital phone lines. During Storm Arwen, some people in Northumberland didn't have power for eleven days, but they also had no means of communication because the battery backup for their digital phone line only lasted for 24 hours.
I have written to the Digital Minister and Openreach's CEO to continue raising my concerns over the impact the switch away from copper phone lines could have for the critical communications infrastructure in rural areas across Tynedale.