The National Rural Conference 2024

The Rural Services Network (RSN) is thrilled to announce the National Rural Conference 2024, taking place from 16th to 19th September. This virtual event, accessible via Zoom, is the premier gathering for senior officers, members, policymakers, and rural service professionals.
Further information and booking details can be found here

Better rural internet speeds 'may not be financially viable'

News outlets including Farming UK and the Wiltshire Times report on widespread calls for better internet coverage across rural areas

Danny Kruger MP (Con) spoke in a digital infrastructure, connectivity and accessibility debate this week in Parliament on how best to address areas of poor connection across what he calls the ‘wastelands of Wiltshire’.

He argued that the internet is the ‘saviour’ of the countryside, as in order to help rural towns and villages prosper, it is necessary to have more remote working, more start-ups and more young people staying in the countryside, all facilitated by better internet.

Mr Kruger said: ‘We know that 30 percent of rural firms experience unreliable broadband, which is twice the rate of firms in urban areas.

Levelling up really means equalising the quality of broadband between urban and rural areas’. Mr Kruger recently published a report, ‘Levelling up our communities: proposals for a new social covenant’, which explored the practicalities of how Government can support communities to play a bigger role in local decision-making, as well as how this can improve social and economic outcomes for local residents.

The articles highlight how improved internet is essential to ensure that communities are at the centre of a new economic and social model as we ‘build back better’ post-COVID-19 – as well as enabling rural neighbourhoods to acquire the sort of capacity, confidence and access to funding that is often essential to putting communities in control.

Full articles:

Farming UK - Rural firms seek urgent clarity on roll-out of broadband

Wiltshire Times - Danny Kruger, MP for Devizes, calls for better digital connectivity across the 'wastelands of Wiltshire'

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