Better broadband 'key to economy' header image

Better broadband would have a major impact on the UK economy, according to a new survey. 

Research by the Countryside Alliance found 80 per cent of people think having access to super-fast internet would be beneficial and this rises to 85 per cent in rural areas. 

This is seen as a more pressing concern than other economic developments, such as renewable energy, high-speed rail lines and airport expansions.

Barney White-Spunner, executive chairman of the Countryside Alliance, commented: "Innovations in digital services mean it has never been more important that rural business and people living in the countryside have access to broadband and good mobile phone signal."

He said the results of the survey show broadband is seen as the most important means of kick starting the rural economy and called on the government to ensure people in the countryside do not fall behind their urban counterparts due to a lack of connectivity.

The Countryside Alliance survey also revealed just under a third (29 per cent) of individuals in rural locations are unhappy with the speed of their broadband, compared to 18 per cent of people in large towns and cities.

In light of this, 69 per cent of respondents said they would rather the government focused its attention on ensuring everyone in the UK has reliable access to the internet, even if this is at the expense of maximising connection speeds in urban areas.

Just nine per cent of people claimed the coalition should make improving town and city broadband its top priority.

This survey is further evidence of the need for improve internet access in rural locations. However, waiting for government action is not the only option open to countryside residents. 

Satellite broadband is available now and is proven to provide reliable connections of up to 20 Mbps in even the most remote of areas. It was recently praised by the head of broadband market intelligence organisation Point Topic Oliver Johnson, who claimed it has an important part to play in improving connectivity across Europe.

Posted by Craig Roberts