Manifesto_digitalfactsThe Countryside Alliance welcomes a major review of the UK’s digital communications markets, announced today (12 March) by Ofcom. Countryside Alliance head of policy Sarah Lee said: “This review is the first in a decade. The Alliance has long been concerned that the current market creates a communications monopoly which is not good for competition and is failing to deliver the ambitions of this government to be a world leader in digital connectivity. 

“We echo this ambition and want to see a fair and competitive digital communications market which will ensure all communities, including those in the countryside, have access to this digital revolution.”

Polling carried out for the Countryside Alliance last year* showed that broadband is an essential part of modern life for 82% of people in the countryside but rural people did not think the Government was doing enough to provide it. The same polling showed that just 65% of people in the countryside are satisfied with their mobile phone service.

Notes for editors

• More information about the OFCOM review here – http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/news/strategic-digital-review/

• * 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.
When asked if they were satisfied with their mobile phone service, 65% of rural people said they were happy, compared to 83% of those in urban areas.