£363 million set aside for rural superfast broadband

Rural areas in England and Scotland look set to receive high speed broadband within the coming years.

Communities and councils in rural areas have been campaigning for superfast broadband for many years, suggesting that its implementation would be good for local businesses, allowing them to use video conferencing and the like to be able to converse with clients or partners without having to undertake hours of business travel.

Now, the government has allocated £363 million of the TV Licensing Fee to kit out the areas with broadband in a bid to give 90 per cent of homes and businesses superfast broadband connections.

Wales and Northern Ireland do not get any of this round of funding as they have already been given theirs.

Of this funding, England is set to receive £294 million whilst Scotland will be given £68.8 million. Greater London will receive none as the private market is expected to do the job there.

Speaking to BBC News of the measures, culture secretary Jeremy Hunt explained: “Fast broadband is absolutely vital to our economic growth, to delivering public services effectively, and to conducting our everyday lives.

“But some areas of the UK are missing out, with many rural and hard-to-reach communities suffering painfully slow internet connections or no coverage at all. We are not prepared to let some parts of our country get left behind in the digital age.”

Adding, Hunt told The Independent: “I urge all those suffering the frustration of slow internet connections to make it clear to your local elected representatives that you expect them to do what is needed to access this investment and to deliver broadband to your community.”