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Covid highlights the need for urgent action on rural broadband

Red Peel, founder of Airband, writes in Engineering and Technology that poor connectivity has made it difficult for internet users in hard-to-reach areas to adapt to new ways of working during the COVID-19 pandemic

Peel argues that the Government and internet service providers need to work together to improve the situation, as for many in rural areas, a lack of broadband infrastructure has presented entrepreneurs with significant challenges when it comes to starting new businesses.

He argues that since online presence is essential for any brand, a reliable, high-speed broadband connection has ‘never been more important’.

Unfortunately, he says that network providers have historically focused on developing infrastructure in densely populated areas where there are the most potential customers. As a result, the UK’s digital divide is at a ‘critical level’.

As it stands today, a fifth of households in rural areas cannot get superfast broadband and many are still getting internet speeds as slow as 0.12Mbps.

For those setting up or running businesses in rural areas, an unreliable broadband connection is therefore a serious obstacle.

Elsewhere, Richmondshire Today writes that the lack of reliable digital connectivity in areas of rural North Yorkshire has put many tourism businesses in particular at a significant disadvantage.

Full articles:

Engineering and Technology - MANY’s support for a rural tourism recovery through connectivity

Richmondshire Today - Covid highlights the need for urgent action on rural broadband

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