The association claimed the provision of fast broadband should be a legal right, and described the current poor broadband coverage as ’the greatest technical hurdle that rural Britain is currently facing’.
It said currently, only half of rural homes and businesses can receive broadband of 10Mbps versus 96 per cent in urban areas.
The CLA’s demands came in response to a Government consultation. It has also underlined the importance of applying a mix of technologies [in addition to fibre] to ensure the required coverage reaches every home and business in rural areas.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport consultation, which sets out the first step in delivering on the Prime Minister’s pledge to implement a Universal Service Obligation (USO) of 10Mbps from 2020, closed today(April 18).
CLA president Ross Murray said: “People living and working in the countryside have been putting up with poor or non-existent broadband service for too long because connecting them can be harder and not as profitable for infrastructure providers. This has made their lives more difficult and has put their businesses at a disadvantage.”
He said the Government’s commitment to putting in place a USO of 10Mbps from 2020 was a real win for rural people, but would only be meaningful if fast, reliable and affordable broadband was also made a legal right.