Rural watchdog attacks claim that broadband meets UK’s needs
Rural watchdog body, the CLA, says it disagrees with a major survey that states the UK's broadband is meeting today's needs.
The survey by Cisco found that only nine countries were ready for next-generation broadband.CLA West Midlands Director Caroline Bedell said: "While it is true that UK broadband is absolutely not fit for the future we do not agree with Cisco's comments that the UK has broadband that is currently meeting the country's needs.
"Rural areas all over the UK suffer from poor broadband connections, something that is hitting non-urban businesses particularly hard. The Digital Divide is growing and the Government must invest in closing the gap for the UK's rural economy to have any chance in developing to its full potential.
"The survey goes on to say that the global download speed is 4.75Mbps (megabits per second). This highlights just how wrong our Government is in saying it wants to increase UK broadband to speeds of up to two Mbps – we will still be miles behind the rest of the world in connectivity."
The Staffordshire based rural chief added: "The Government needs to recognise that the UK must aim for up to 10Mbps broadband speeds to compete globally."
Herefordshire business owner Heather Gorringe runs Wiggly Wigglers, a gardening initiative based at a farm in Blakemere. She said: "I couldn't imagine running my company without having internet connectivity. Wiggly Wigglers has harnessed the power of the internet to its full capacity by producing podcasts, and even online videos to drive up business successfully.
"Without the internet in this part of rural England, we would be struggling to be competitive. Thank goodness organisations such as the CLA are lobbying to ensure everyone in the country can get a decent broadband service."
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Caroline Bedell MRICS FAAV
Caroline leads the Midlands team and has overall responsibility for the management of the CLA’s regional business and membership.
A qualified Chartered Surveyor respected throughout the industry, she also represents the CLA on a wide range of regional committees and panels.
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