A new national alliance has been established to coordinate government and industry telecommunication activity to help deliver reliable digital communications to rural businesses and communities.
The National Connectivity Alliance (NCA) brings together landowners, telecommunications suppliers and infrastructure providers to address digital communication disparity in rural and urban areas.
The CLA was instrumental in the creation of the alliance to ensure better industry relationships and bring a fragmented sector together.
By improving relationships and acting as a link with the government, the NCA can provide better communication and support education and training programmes that will raise greater awareness of the importance of digital connectivity. It will also help to bring a better balance between the rights and responsibilities of landowners and operators.
The CLA has played a leading role in keeping rural connectivity on the agenda, and the National Connectivity Alliance is an important next step as we unify stakeholder groups in pursuit of universal digital connectivity.
CLA President Mark Tufnell says: "Nothing holds the rural economy back quite like poor digital connectivity. Businesses in the countryside are in desperate need of 21st century infrastructure that will allow them to grow their business, creating new jobs and stronger communities.
"The CLA has played a leading role in keeping rural connectivity on the agenda, and the creation of the National Connectivity Alliance is an important next step as we unify stakeholder groups in pursuit of universal digital connectivity."
Digital connectivity is fundamental to the success of the rural economy; however, current structural hurdles, including access to dependable online connectivity, mean that the rural economy is 18% less productive than the national average. An effective alliance that bridges this gap would therefore play a crucial role in strengthening the Rural Powerhouse and social inclusion amongst rural communities.
Digital Infrastructure Minister Julia Lopez says: "I welcome the creation of this new alliance, which will bring together industry and landowners to improve negotiations and make sure we are doing everything we can to boost connectivity, productivity and the economy.
"We continue to support investment in world class connectivity for people across the UK, whether they're in London, or a village in the Scottish Highlands."
Carlos Pierce, Partner Blaser Mills Law, National Connectivity Alliance Chair & Co-Founder, adds: "We are delighted to launch the National Connectivity Alliance today as the only cross industry body regarding access to land.
"Not only does the NCA demonstrate a necessary collective will from the industry to improve digital connectivity, it will also drive best practice through collaboration and understanding. By encouraging greater education and communication, the NCA will be able to deliver greater awareness of the needs of all in the sector as well as the general public."