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Superfast rural Broadband plans are “at the back of the queue”

January 15th 2021

Tagged: Rurality

MPs have expressed concerns that rural areas will again go “to the back of the queue” when it comes to improving Broadband.

In a report, Improving Broadband (parliament.uk), the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) concludes that 1.6 million UK premises, mainly in rural areas, cannot yet access superfast speeds. It also voices concern that people in rural areas may have to pay more, and may reach gigabit broadband speeds late. The PAC says: “Again, there is a risk that rural areas will be left even further behind.”

Currently more than 95 per cent of UK premises can now access broadband speeds of at least 30 Mbps. However, on 25 November, Government abandoned its target of delivering superfast Broadband to at least 85 per cent of the country by 2025. PAC also criticises the Government for investing less than a quarter of the £5 billion funding needed to support roll-out to the hardest to reach 20 per cent of premises.

Among the recommendations made by PAC is the call for the Government to clarify how and when it intends to reach rural areas, and how choice of service provider will be assured.