Published On: 10 April 2024

UK Government’s Investment in Rural Broadband

The UK Government has announced investment aimed at improving rural broadband connectivity. This initiative marks a significant step ensuring more people have potential access to high-speed internet across the nation. By prioritising the enhancement of digital infrastructure in remote areas, the government underscores its commitment to fostering economic growth, empowering communities, and propelling the UK into a digitally inclusive future. 

Here are the key highlights: 

  • A record investment of £714 million in 2024, aims to benefit nearly 380,000 premises in rural areas. 
  • Faster broadband will be provided to remote regions, facilitating economic growth and improving digital connectivity. 
  • Full fibre networks in areas like South Yorkshire, Cornwall, and the Isles of Scilly will offer speeds up to 1,000 megabits per second. 
  • Over one million rural properties have already been upgraded to gigabit-capable networks, thanks to government investment. 
  • Separate contracts will connect up to 800 primary schools, enabling access to digital technology in education.

While this is of course a positive announcement and CTG wholly supports the initiative to improve access to Full Fibre, there are other factors to consider. Issues such as lack of awareness and consumer understanding of broadband technologies continue to pose hurdles to widespread adoption. 

Kevin Monaghan, Chief Commercial Officer of Complete Technology Group adds his commentary to the announcement: 

“The Government is of course right to invest further in ensuring rural areas have access high-speed broadband. But the return on the investment is what will count – can contracts be fulfilled, and will this investment make a significant impact in boosting digital connectivity across the UK.  

“A balance must also be struck between rural and urban areas; it’s easy to assume that efforts must be focused on the former to connect hard to reach places, but there remain major issues in urban areas where swathes of people must live without broadband. The difficult economic conditions of the past four years – a pandemic, cost-of-living crisis and interest rates spike – have exacerbated the issue, resulting in building works and digital infrastructure projects stalling.  

“Digital connectivity is essential for consumers and businesses today, as the Government says, but injecting more money into the broadband rollout will not tackle the lack of awareness that is heavily impacting take-up. Full Fibre, lightning fast, superfast, ultrafast – working on the front line with landlords and residents, we know that a notable proportion of people are confused by this sort of industry jargon, in turn hindering take-up.  

“It’s crucial the Government works with the telecoms sector to implement a nationwide education programme so consumers can make informed decision about broadband services and providers. Simply plumbing in the infrastructure is not enough; digital connectivity will only be achieved when there is greater awareness among consumers on the value it provides, and how to navigate the broadband market with confidence.” 

Overall, this investment highlights the government’s dedication to addressing challenges in providing widespread access to Full Fibre broadband and is a welcomed step forward to a more digitally inclusive society.  

Read the full article here.

Recent posts