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Rural areas to miss out on so-called “superfast” broadband

image of fibre optic cableIt has emerged that so-called “superfast” broadband (defined in this instance as 25 megabits per second (Mbps) Ed.) will not be provided automatically to tens of thousands of remote rural homes, the Western Daily Press reports.

A Government consultation document says it is likely that many people in such areas would not want to be connected to better broadband, but extending it to them would not represent value for money.

However, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has rejected suggestions that rural areas were being left behind, a point of view that has not found favour with campaigners for rural broadband, who are concerned that rural businesses will move away and jobs will be lost unless they are included in the better broadband roll-out.

Graham Long, chairman of Broadband for Rural Devon and Somerset is quoted by the Western Daily as saying: “Businesses are moving out of rural areas here because they cannot keep their website – their shop window – up to date.

“It will be even worse if they only have 10 Mbps in 2020, because the need for better bandwidth will have grown by then, now that we have cloud computing and other shared applications.”