Successful broadband pilots hailed as important milestone towards real solutions

03 February 2016

The CLA has hailed the emerging results of Government pilots into delivering broadband to rural areas as ‘an important milestone towards real solutions’.

The organisation (which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses) has welcomed the evidence that a ‘hybrid approach’ using a variety of technologies can help provide the hardest to reach areas with fast, reliable and affordable broadband.

The findings have been published today by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport ‘Emerging Findings from the BDUK Market Test Pilots’.

CLA President Ross Murray said: “Poor broadband service has put rural businesses and communities at a disadvantage for far too long and these early findings of the Market Test Pilots are an important milestone towards real solutions.

“The CLA has been calling for some time for Government to end its reliance of one type of technology, so called fibre to cabinet, in delivering superfast broadband to rural communities. We should embrace all technologies, especially wireless solutions, that can contribute to getting fast, reliable and affordable broadband to rural homes and businesses. This flexible approach is vital to the Government’s objective of securing a Universal Service Obligation for broadband of at least 10Mbps by 2020. We are pleased that the advantages of this hybrid approach have been recognised in today’s report.”

Mr Murray added: “We would like to see the findings tested over a larger area, and a clear commitment from Government on timeframes for when the findings of the pilots will begin making a difference for the thousands of rural homes and businesses who still have to put up with poor or non-existent broadband. We will also continue to call for the current satellite-only voucher scheme to be extended to include other wireless providers including microwave, wifi and mobile.”