Ofcom’s annual Connected Nations report, which measures progress in the availability and capability of broadband and mobile services in the UK, has been published.
Responding to the report, CLA President Mark Bridgeman said:
“While minor improvements have been made to improve connectivity, it’s clear that little progress on increasing 4G and broadband coverage in rural areas has been delivered.
“The current 4G growth in rural areas has completely slowed down with minimal increases on last year when there should be significant increases year-on-year. This lack of growth does little for the rural economy and for those who live and work in the countryside. The roll-out of 4G coverage has come to a standstill and the way for progress to be made is if Government invests in infrastructure, rather than planning.
“Reassurances are also desperately needed on whether rural communities will receive gigabit capable broadband by 2025, following the Government’s U-turn to only invest £1.2bn of the £5bn pledged in the 2019 election campaign.
“With only 27% of homes receiving this level of coverage and a lack of investment and infrastructure in place, Government must come forward with robust measures on how its long-term targets will be met. Otherwise, the rural economy will be left behind once again.”