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UK unveils new laws to spot rural broadband blackspots

The Telegraph reports that the Government has said that families living in remote areas of Britain should receive faster internet at the same time as those in cities, via the Government’s £200m Rural Gigabit Connectivity (RGC) programme, which helps homes in the most remote locations to access ultrafast broadband

Meanwhile, ISPreview covers news that Hampshire County Council are investing £1 million to ‘top up’ any residential vouchers provided by the scheme. Under the new scheme any vouchers intended for residential homes will effectively be doubled to £3,000 and if everybody claimed the maximum voucher value then that would equate to roughly 700 extra premises passed.

New powers will be handed to telecom regulator Ofcom to share information with the Government around where broadband firms are planning to upgrade their networks and publish data around the regions where no rollout was planned.

The Government said this will be taken into account when it decides where to spend the £5 billion that has been earmarked for internet upgrades. Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital Infrastructure Matt Warman MP (Con), said that ‘these changes will help target public funding in hard to reach areas most in need of better broadband’.

Liberal Democrat leadership hopeful Layla Moran MP (LD) is also calling for extra ultra-fast broadband support in rural areas of the UK, as research shows that North Cornwall has the worst average broadband speed at 29.1Mbps, followed by St Ives, and Camborne and Redruth. Moran wants the Government to prioritise improving broadband in the UK’s hardest-to-reach communities, offering increased subsidies for ultra-fast broadband in rural areas and for business rates relief on broadband infrastructure to be extended by another 15 years.

Full articles:

The Telegraph - UK unveils new laws to spot rural broadband blackspots

ISPreview - Hampshire UK Launch £1m Top-up for Rural Broadband Vouchers

Express & Star - Rural residents stuck in digital slow lane, warns Lib Dem leadership contender


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