Wednesday, 09 March 2016 14:55

Call to extend broadband scheme

Written by  Ruralcity Media

RURAL businesses are calling for a satellite broadband voucher scheme extended to cover other wireless internet technologies too.

The call was made by the Country Land and Business Association, which said it was urging local authorities to widen the Satellite Voucher Schemes they administer.

The CLA said more rural businesses and communities would benefit if the scheme could also be used to improve broadband provision using technologies such as WiFi.

The scheme allows home and business owners with poor or non-existent broadband connections to apply for a financial contribution towards installation of satellite hardware.

    See also: Satellite broadband - a last resort?

It aims to help more people access a broadband service of at least 2Mbps to meet the government's Universal Service Commitment.

The scheme is administered by local authorities along with Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), and all local authorities are implementing the satellite voucher scheme.

Some authorities have widened the scope of the scheme to allow for the use of other technologies, including wireless technology.

CLA senior rural business and economics adviser Charles Trotman said the CLA was calling on other councils to follow suit.

"Poor broadband in rural areas is one of the greatest barriers to growing the rural economy," he said.

The CLA had welcomed the government's commitment to putting in place a 10Mbps Universal Service Obligation by 2020, said Dr Trotman.

But 2020 was a "long way off and this voucher scheme is an important way for businesses to make a significant improvement, quickly".

The CLA was now calling for the satellite voucher scheme to be extended to include other wireless technologies including microwave and WiFi.

This would mean there was greater flexibility in choosing the technology that will work best in their specific location and for their business needs.

"A number of local authorities have widened the scope of the scheme, the CLA believes others must follow so that rural businesses are able to make use of all available technologies."

  • No comments found

Leave your comments

0 / 500 Character restriction
Your text should be in between 10-500 characters
terms and condition.