Internet Connections ‘Failing’ Rural Communities


Rural businesses using commercial telephone systems may have noticed that their broadband speeds are perhaps not up to scratch, with one Westcountry MP saying that connections are failing those living and working outside urban areas.Liberal Democrat MP for Wells Tessa Munt said that the rate of access to superfast broadband in Somerset does not meet the needs of both residents and businesses in rural regions of the UK, the Western Morning News reports.

Figures from Ofcom have revealed that 44 per cent of Somerset has the fasted speeds, while 45 per cent of Devon gets this kind of coverage. However, Cornwall has reached 72 per cent so far thanks to funding injections from the EU. In contrast, Plymouth has reached 94 per cent and boroughs in London can expect 100 per cent coverage.

This month (March), delivery of the broadband programme around the UK will be discussed, with those on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs select committee already voicing concerns that the target of 2017 for connecting 95 per cent of the country will not be met.

On February 26th, industry watchdog Ofcom revealed that almost one in three broadband connections in the UK are now superfast, a rise of about one in four in November 2013. In the six months to November last year, average broadband speeds in the country climbed by a fifth thanks to the increased take-up of superfast fibre or cable services.

“It’s encouraging to see continued investment in infrastructure from broadband providers, supported by government funding to bring faster broadband to harder to reach areas,” acting Ofcom chief executive Steve Unger remarked.

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