Rural businesses to benefit from government fund

Rural businesses to benefit from government fund

The UK Government has announced that £200m is going to be placed into a fund to ensure that rural schools, businesses and individuals can benefit from high-quality broadband connectivity.

It has been confirmed that isolated primary schools will be the first to benefit, but the campaign will then subsequently be rolled out to ensure that even more people can get online.

The approach

As part of the press release that accompanied the announcement, government officials have stated that they will not only be using this fund to enable greater connectivity, but to develop new installation approaches. This will ultimately allow all people in the UK, regardless of where they are located, to gain better access to high-speed broadband.

It has also been announced that the first areas to see dramatic improvements will be isolated places such as Cornwall and the valleys of Wales. This will include people who live and operate in the Brecon Beacons National Park, as well as the Vale of Neath, which is often referred to as ‘Waterfall Country’. Both of these regions have struggled with connectivity for years.

This project will be known as the ‘Rural Gigabit Connectivity Programme’.

Why has this come about?

At the beginning of 2018, the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review (FTIR) set out a number of plans that would see all of the UK’s broadband infrastructure upgraded and enhanced to keep it in line with – and if possible surpass – the connectivity levels seen throughout the rest of Europe.

This declaration was ultimately given the thumbs-up by Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, who has previously stated his ambition to see complete broadband coverage across the United Kingdom by 2033 at the very latest. The FTIR study declared that to achieve such an ambition, the government would need to inject a minimum of £3bn.

And the very first step of this overarching project is this £200m rural injection.

Poor levels of connectivity

According to a report released by Ofcom in May 2018, a whopping 925,000 homes and businesses in the UK currently have access to broadband that can be described as either ‘below par’ or ‘very poor’.

In the wake of this, government officials declared that all new builds, regardless of where they are located throughout the country, will be built so as to ensure they benefit from high-quality broadband connectivity.

However, for businesses in rural areas, it is essential that they are set up so as not only to take advantage of this new broadband availability but to ensure their business remains secure and protected.

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