Chancellor urged to boost broadband funding in Budget header image

The government has been urged to step up the level of funding it provides in order to ensure people in rural areas have access to reliable broadband connections.

Julie Stewart, chair of freelancers' association PCG, has written to chancellor George Osborne in an effort to encourage him to "substantially" increase the amount of money designated to rural broadband in the forthcoming Budget.

In the letter, she wrote: "It is crucial that an improved virtual and physical network remains affordable for the very smallest businesses, who do not have access to large capital reserves and expense accounts."

The coalition has vowed to ensure everyone in the UK can access broadband with a minimum speed of two Mbps by 2017. To this end, it is currently investing £530 million.

However, this initiative will not cater for all of the country, particularly those living in hard-to-reach rural areas.

As a result, the government has been urged to explore alternative options. For example, satellite broadband can provide speeds of up to 20 Mbps and merely requires the installation of a small satellite dish and modem.