The Countryside Alliance believes that high speed broadband and mobile connectivity is an essential service alongside water, electricity and gas; but is nowhere near as available in rural areas as it is in urban areas.

1.1 million premises still don’t have access to decent broadband, meaning that 17 per cent of rural homes and businesses are unable to receive decent broadband and 82 per cent can’t receive a 4G signal.

Continued poor connectivity in rural areas represents a huge missed opportunity for economic development and these gaps and weaknesses need to be addressed as a priority. The current lack of broadband infrastructure serving small firms threatens the expansion of the rural economy currently worth £400bn annually. The business opportunity includes 28 per cent of all UK firms and over one million small businesses.

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