Improving Broadband for Very Hard to Reach Premises

The Rural Services Network is encouraging people to respond to the Open Consultation from Government on Improving Broadband for Very Hard to Reach premises

The consultation closes on 11th June 2021:
Improving broadband for Very Hard to Reach premises - GOV.UK (

Through this call for evidence, the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) wants to hear views and experiences of consumers’ broadband connectivity in rural and remote areas of the UK. In addition, DCMS would also like to receive information on both the known benefits of broadband services and the current barriers to deployment and take-up. Additional evidence, either from the UK or abroad, on technology availability, maturity, capabilities and costs, from suppliers and vendors is also welcomed.

DCMS are looking for responses from four specific groups of stakeholders and the questions asked are different for each

    • Rural Consumers
    • Rural Businesses
    • Suppliers / Vendors
    • Representative Organisations (Rural, Business, etc)

The evidence gathered will enable DCMS to assess the options available for delivering improved connectivity to areas where the costs of delivering better digital infrastructure have so far proven to be a barrier to deployment.

The Rural Services Network has campaigned for improved broadband and connectivity in rural areas and recognises its important role in enabling business innovation, and growth. Rural based businesses of all sizes and in all economic sectors (including the self employed) need access to fast and reliable broadband and mobile networks if they are to throve, compete and reach new markets. Digital connectivity offers rural residents the option to access many services without having to make long or complex journeys and over the past year particularly, has become a key means for accessing banking, education and healthcare. 

Some 7% of rural premises (or 274,000 households and businesses) in England cannot access a decent fixed broadband connection of 10Mbps.  This is the threshold set for the broadband USO which the regulator (OFCOM) considers necessary for everyday use, though it is likely to prove inadequate for many business or home working users. 

The Rural Services Network welcomed a representative from DCMS to a special meeting that took place recently to explain the consultation to member organisations of the network.  Improving broadband for Very Hard to Reach premises - GOV.UK (

You can read more about the Rural Services Network asks of Government for Rural Digital Connectivity in the Revitalising Rural Campaign at this link.


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