Labour’s Emily Thornberry suggested owls and ravens would also offer an improved service in Tech City, a Government-backed area endorsed by the Prime Minister, compared to the slow broadband speeds available.
The former shadow minister said it took nine hours for one of the companies based in the east London start-up collective to send a two-and-a-half minute film to Ford.
Thirty-eight businesses signed a petition last May complaining about slow and unreliable broadband in the area, MPs heard.
Ms Thornberry also said she took a sample case to BT although she was informed it was not commercially viable to connect a green cabinet outside that company’s premises, despite high-speed broadband being available in the area.
David Cameron has previously stated he wanted to help Tech City become ”one of the world’s great technology centres” while Mayor of London Boris Johnson is also backing the area.
Ms Thornberry urged the duo to ”lean” on BT to give the companies the tools they need.
The MP for Islington South and Finsbury told a Westminster Hall debate: ”This is an area that ought to be exporting but if they simply cannot export a two-and-a-half-minute film without nine hours time to upload it, it really can’t be called Tech City I’d respectfully suggest.
”Tech City doesn’t just serve the UK.
”Companies in my constituency have clients throughout the world and these clients expect these companies to have fast and reliable communications.
”I spoke to (Michael Proudfoot, of film production company Proudfoot) and it was clear his business has evolved over the past 10 years but his connectivity has not improved in line with his work.
”He said that to send a high quality sound file to Covent Garden it was quicker to put it on a stick and cycle it round to Covent Garden.
”Perhaps he should attach it to a stick and then put it on an owl like Harry Potter or perhaps put it on a carrier pigeon or even a raven, as they do in Game of Thrones. That might be equally effective.
”He said that some of his employees get better broadband speeds on their domestic home connections than they do in the heart of Tech City.”
Ms Thornberry added: “Tech City should not be relying on Game of Thrones’ ravens.”
Replying for the Government, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said vouchers had been made available in London which would allow a business to apply and have the connection charge met.
He said 2,500 businesses in London had taken advantage of this.
Mr Vaizey said: “I get a lot of criticism about BT in debates like this and I sometimes feel that I am BT’s spokesman in the House of Commons because I’m constantly having to defend them either on customer service or on the grounds of competition.
“But it is interesting to note where you can make money and a good margin there is a competitive market – so if you’re in the centre of a city like London with a lot of SMEs you will find a lot of suppliers willing to build up networks and supply that marketplace.
“But if you’re a village in a very rural area, the only game in town tends to be BT.”
In a statement, a BT spokeswoman said: “Ultrafast high-capacity broadband services are available throughout the whole of Tech City and Government grants are available to businesses which want them.
“The prices for these services are set to fall from this April with the wholesale installation charge for our one gbps service falling by 46% to cite just one example.
“These dedicated business lines are likely to be needed by any business with sizeable digital demands.
“Domestic level fibre broadband is available to around two-thirds of premises in Tech City. Plans are in place to extend this to 90%.”
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