OXFORDSHIRE MP John Howell has called for developers to be forced to provide digital infrastructure when building new houses.

Mr Howell, who represents Henley, met with representatives from the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire team last week to discuss a continuing rollout programme of improved broadband across the county.

He said: "I was surprised and disturbed to learn that new housing developments do not automatically include digital infrastructure at the time of building.

"It would be so easy and cost effective to lay ducts when the ground is open and the buildings are going up."

He added he would be raising the issue with the Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when Parliament returned this week to see whether it could be be included in the National Planning Policy Framework, which is being revised.

Mr Howell said his own constituency now had 92.5 per cent broadband coverage and by the end of the year should have over 97 per cent coverage.

He added: "This is good news but I can assure people that the last three per cent have not been forgotten.

"I congratulate the Better Broadband team for their hard work in this and for ensuring that our communities which are some of the most rural in Oxfordshire have not simply been forgotten."