The importance of broadband to rural households and businesses cannot be overestimated, with many deeming it an essential service, alongside water, electricity and gas. Yet there is still a marked digital divide between areas.
That’s why the Countryside Alliance is calling upon the public, whether based in the countryside or town, to add information about their broadband speed to our Better Broadband Map.
We will use this evidence to lobby for improved connectivity by demonstrating the marked differences in speed across the country.
People can add their information to the map in a number of ways, the easiest of which is to tweet their download speed, postcode and supplier using the #betterbroadband tag, but they can also use facebook or email us. Just go to http://www.countryside-alliance.org/ca/betterbroadband.php to find out how to check your broadband speed and how to add it to our map.
Countryside Alliance head of policy, Sarah Lee, said: “Our research1 shows that 82% of rural people believe superfast broadband is essential to 21st century life and that everyone should have access to it, but 56% feel the Government is not doing enough to ensure it happens.
“If rural businesses are to be able to compete with those in urban areas and if rural children are to have access to the same on-line educational resources it is crucial that they have access to superfast broadband.
“By adding your information to our map you are helping to show the disparity of service experienced in different areas.”
For further information, contact the Countryside Alliance head of media Charlotte Cooper on 07500 834163 or [email protected]
Notes to journalists
1 1,509 interviews were carried out online by ORB International on behalf of the Countryside Alliance between 5 and 8 September 2014. When asked which services should be universally provided, 82% or rural and 78% of urban respondents mentioned broadband. But 56% of rural people did not feel the Government was doing enough to ensure the service was provided in their area.