Rural broadband plans 'need updating'

Wednesday, February 4th 2015
A government commitment to better broadband for rural areas is now being sought.
Rural broadband plans 'need updating'
The government's Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has deemed present plans aimed at bolstering the provision of superfast broadband for rural communities may be "short-changing" some areas.

With the government having committed to achieving 95 per cent coverage for superfast connectivity for the whole of the country by 2017, the committee stated it is now the remaining five per cent that must be focused on.

There is a current commitment to achieving minimum connections of 2 Mbps for all areas, but this requirement was also highlighted as being outdated.

Committee chair Anne McIntosh stated: "People living in the hard-to-reach five per cent of premises need the same access as the rest to online and digital services."

She added that present plans to improve services for those who already benefit from faster download speeds will simply increase the disparity between communities across the country. Instead, the focus should be on delivering equal benefits to all areas under the next phase of broadband rollout. 

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An array of Gloucestershire villages are to receive ultrafast broadband upgrades.
West Sussex residents are benefiting from the ongoing Better Connected initiative.
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The ongoing iNorthumberland project is to benefit from an additional influx of funds.
Perth is expected to become the UK's latest "super-connected city" in the coming months.

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