asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that the telephone service has become slow and unreliable and compares unfavourably with services available in other industrialised countries; what steps he will take to remedy this situation; and if he will make a statement.
The telephone service is now suffering from a most inadequate provision of capital over the years and from the fact that demand and use are growing at a far higher rate than was estimated two years ago. A new and greatly enlarged capital programme has been approved but the backlog will take some time to overtake. Meanwhile subscribers in congested areas will experience some difficulties. But I cannot accept that the service as a whole is slow and unreliable and shall be glad to investigate any specific complaints the hon. Member would like to send me.