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Have your say on rural Broadband

Government consultation closes on June 11

May 28th 2021

Tagged: Rurality England

By Ailsa Colquhoun

An consultation on Improving Broadband for very hard to reach premises closes on  Friday 11 June 2021.

The Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) wants to hear views and experiences of consumers’ broadband connectivity in rural and remote areas of the UK. In addition, DCMS would also like to receive information on both the known benefits of broadband services and the current barriers to deployment and take-up. Additional evidence, either from the UK or abroad, on technology availability, maturity, capabilities and costs, from suppliers and vendors is also welcomed.

DCMS are looking for responses from four specific groups of stakeholders and the questions asked are different for each

    • Rural consumers
    • Rural businesses
    • Suppliers/vendors
    • Representative organisations (rural, business, etc)

The evidence gathered will enable DCMS to assess the options available for delivering improved connectivity to areas where the costs of delivering better digital infrastructure have so far proven to be a barrier to deployment.

The Rural Services Network has campaigned for improved broadband and connectivity in rural areas. Digital connectivity offers rural residents additional options to access many services, including healthcare.

According to the RSN, some 7 per cent of rural premises (or 274,000 households and businesses) in England cannot access a decent fixed broadband connection of 10Mbps.  This is the threshold set for the broadband USO which the regulator (OFCOM) considers necessary for everyday use, though it is likely to prove inadequate for many business or home working users.