A lack of mobile signal and broadband in the countryside continues to be one of the biggest headaches for households and businesses alike. In a digital age, the need for mobile and broadband networks is just as important as the need for gas, electricity and water. We need to access more services online, including Government services; businesses need the internet for growth; and social media is now a part of everyday life. Scottishstorm

All of these uses means that demand for mobile broadband is going to grow, but companies are focussing their energies on providing coverage for the urban customers, which is causing the existing digital divide to grow even wider. We must ensure that there is a mobile and broadband network that meets the needs of rural people, and allows them to thrive and prosper.

The forthcoming auction of the radio spectrum, which will provide us with a 4G network, is a huge opportunity for all the mobile companies to provide better mobile and broadband coverage at competitive prices in rural areas. The Countryside Alliance believes that it is important there is competitive roll out of the 4G network if the current problems of high prices and poor service in rural areas are to be overcome.

The Countryside Alliance continues to make the case to the Government that if rural economies are to grow, then this needs to be matched by a proper commitment and delivery of mobile and broadband communications in the countryside sooner rather than later, which is why we are supporting the call for 4G in Britain.

To find out more please go to www.4gbritain.org