The government has announced the first stages of its plans to get ultra-fast broadband to the majority of homes, a project the CLA welcomes.
However, there are no counties in the South East among the first list of areas to benefit. Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are among the second list, and we would urge the government to support rural communities across our region as quickly as possible.
CLA South East represents thousands of farmers, landowners and rural businesses in Kent, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and the Isle of Wight.
Regional Director Michael Valenzia said: “This is an important moment in levelling up the urban-rural digital divide.
“Too many rural businesses are put at a considerable disadvantage by slow and unreliable connectivity. The rural economy is 16% less productive than the national average, largely due to poor infrastructure. Closing this gap would grow the economy by billions of pounds.
“So this is a good start, but if government is serious about levelling up then its foot needs to stay on the accelerator until the job is complete.”