Lockdown 3.0

We are still here at the RSN for all of our customers and partners. We remain working from home, ready to support you all to ensure that the rural voice is heard at a national level. We'd love to hear from you if you have any queries or want to get in touch admin@sparse.gov.uk

Spotlight on Vulnerability - Broadband Edition (August 2019)

Welcome to the latest newsletter from the Rural Vulnerability Service - brought to you by the Rural Services Network and the Rural England CIC in association with Calor.

The vulnerability service aims to disseminate information about three key rural issues: fuel poverty, broadband and rural transport.

This newsletter focuses on the availabilty of broadband across rural areas.

Latest updates:

BT gets behind Boris Johnson’s push for ultrafast broadband

2 August 2019

BT has backed Boris Johnson’s £30bn pledge to get ultrafast internet to every home in Britain by 2025. (Evening Standard)

Boris Johnson's broadband plan 'doomed to fail'

28 July 2019

With each generation of politicians come new broadband promises. But the reality rarely lives up to the ambitious claims. (Wired)

Villages take action to log into superfast broadband

8 July 2019

Rural communities are determined not to be left behind in the digital age. (The Times)

Eight in 10 areas of the UK lack full 4G coverage

9 August 2019

Four fifths of constituency areas suffer from patchy 4G mobile coverage, according to new analysis of Ofcom data. (Which?)

Suffolk reaches 94% superfast broadband coverage

16 July 2019

Targets to deliver 98% superfast broadband in Suffolk by 2020 are nearly six months ahead of schedule, a new cabinet report has said. (Eastern Daily Press)

Better broadband after cash boost in Gloucestershire

11 July 2019

More people in South Gloucestershire are set to benefit from the council's ongoing rollout of broadband, after an additional £900,000 in funding was secured. (The Gazette)

Broadband: Last school Wales gets fast internet

15 July 2019

Children in Fishguard's Ysgol Llanychllwydog are excited about returning to school after the summer holidays because they will finally get faster broadband. (BBC Online)

Idea of hyperfast broadband wins villagers' backing

1 August 2019

A meeting to discuss whether hyperfast broadband should be installed in a village has been hailed a success. (Eastern Daily Press)

Village homes to benefit in next broadband upgrade

2 August 2019

Full fibre broadband is on its way for more homes in Uttlesford after a new phase of the Superfast Essex programme was confirmed. (Saffron Walden Reporter)

Ofcom opens up airwaves to improve rural connectivity

30 July 2019

Farmers and rural businesses are being given the opportunity to build bespoke wi-fi networks for better mobile phone and broadband connectivity. (Farmers Weekly)

Race speeds up to get fibre optic broadband

22 July 2019

The government wants everyone in Britain to have full-fibre broadband by 2033. But the move away from copper isn't the most straight forward. (Wired)

Faster broadband to be rolled out across Cumbria

29 July 2019

Faster broadband is coming to rural parts of the county, thanks to the Connecting Cumbria programme. (Times & Star)

Rural residents celebrate high-speed broadband

22 July 2019

Thousands of rural homes and businesses across the South West are taking advantage of a faster future thanks to the arrival of high-speed broadband. (Bath Echo)

£30m funding helps rural broadband ISP target UK homes

5 August 2019

Rural fixed wireless broadband ISP Voneus has secured a large investment from Macquarie Capital that could help their network to target 900,000 homes.

Mixed reaction to £12million rural broadband funding

24 July 2019

Northumberland County Council has welcomed a £12million funding boost for rural broadband – but its benefit to the most remote communities is in doubt. (Northumberland Gazette)

Sponsored by Calor, the Rural Vulnerability Service is a FREE information service brought to you by the Rural England Community Interest Company in association with the Rural Services Network.

Calor was set up 80 years ago with the intention of bringing clean, efficient and modern energy to rural Britain. This focus continues today with 75% of Calor's business in the British countryside. Calor recognises the need to address climate change and energy efficiency and so has introduced bioLPG to the UK market in 2018, the first LPG supplier to do so. BioLPG requires no changes to the customer’s appliances, it just reduces carbon emissions by up to 80% and burns just as cleanly as fossil LPG.

Furthermore, Calor’s transport solution – LPG Autogas – can deliver significant air quality and environmental benefits, and at around half the cost of petrol and diesel benefits the hard-pressed motorist too. Over 150,000 motorists already benefit from this cleaner and affordable fuel, which is available from over 1,400 refuelling stations across Britain.


Articles in this newsletter are included for information only and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Rural Services Network, Rural England CIC or Calor.

Reports and Publications:

For reports & publications on fuel poverty, click here

For reports & publications on rural broadband, click here

For reports & publications on rural transport, click here

National Statistics:

For UK National Statistics on fuel poverty, click here

For UK National Statistics on rural transport, click here

For UK National Statistics on rural broadband, click here

Useful links:
Fuel Poverty:

Citizens Advice
End Fuel Poverty Coalition
Energy UK
Committee on Fuel Poverty
Health Housing & Fuel
   Poverty Forum

National Energy Action


Broadband for the Rural North
Broadband Delivery UK
Rural Broadband Partnership
Dept Culture, Media & Sport
Independent Networks Cooperative Association (INCA)

Citizens Advice
Campaign for Better Transport
Community Transport Ass'n
CPRE - Transport campaign
Department for Transport
Plunkett Foundation
Transport for Quality of Life

How to save local buses
Guide for those wishing to save local buses from cuts
Buses in crisis
How rural communities have been most damaged by cuts
Integrated transport
How to integrate transport into new developments (pdf)
Transport e-Bulletin
Sign up for regular transport news and campaigns


Sign up to our newsletter to receive all the latest news and updates.