Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has today (13 January) announced a £60million business rate relief for network providers to make it easier to deliver better quality broadband and mobile coverage through new infrastructure across England.
CLA President Ross Murray said: “Extra support for digital connectivity is welcome but it must deliver for the countryside. Rural communities are still struggling with unreliable connections, if they even have any service at all, which has negative consequences for people living and working in rural areas and also impacts on much needed rural tourism.
“It is vital that as new technology is developed the countryside is not continually left behind. Incentives such as this tax break must push network providers to connect hard to reach rural areas faster so homes and businesses in the countryside see results from the funding and tax breaks that these large multi-national companies have been given.”
“The Government must also ensure that any new policies recognise the positive role landowners and rural businesses can play in the roll-out programme, looking at opportunities for private investment and collaboration and smart solutions to building the infrastructure we need.”