Experts call for a “greater sense of urgency” around the digital roll-out in rural areas

Research by the Communications Consumer Panel found that many rural communities are still living without “reliable, robust digital connectivity”, which the panel believes should be “considered an essential utility for all communications consumers in the UK.”

The panel’s investigation explored “the struggle for fairness that consumers, citizens and micro-businesses using communications services face in rural and remote areas across the UK and it now calling on the Government to “listen to the needs and requirements of rural communities.”

RSN Policy Expert, Graham Biggs, took part in the research and is joining the call:

“These findings shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.  Despite copious Government announcements about the much-hailed Project Gigabit, rural communities are still being left behind in terms of connectivity.  The people who took part in this report are testimony to this - 19 year old James best sums it up when he said ‘I’m going off to University and then I’m going into the world of work.  I feel like I’ve missed out on this kind of avenue that I probably could have pursued, that I wasn’t able to because the connections are just not there.’

“A whole generation is being left behind because of the Government’s inability to prioritise rural areas.”

You can hear more about James’s story, as well as others living in rural areas, in the CCP film, The Struggle for Fairness. You can read the full report here.

Rural Connectivity is one of the issues being addressed at this year’s RSN National Rural Conference. Speakers from BT, Digital Mobile Spectrum and SWS Broadband will be discussing how we can improve mobile connectivity in rural areas and what the future of rural broadband really looks like.  Secure your place now and book your ticket here.


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