CLA calls to extend broadband voucher scheme

11 March 2016

The CLA is calling on local authorities in the North to widen the scope of a new scheme aimed at helping homes and businesses access a better broadband connection.

The new satellite voucher scheme, which is administered by local authorities along with Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), offers a financial contribution towards installation of satellite hardware to help people with poor or non-existent fixed line broadband get access to a better service.

According to the CLA, the scheme will play an important role in helping to connect homes and businesses in rural “not spots” but must also include other technologies, such as wireless.

CLA North Regional Director Dorothy Fairburn said: “We are urging local authorities to include other technologies, including microwave and wi-fi - where a signal is ‘bounced’ around a rural community - so that there is greater flexibility in choosing the best technology for specific locations and business needs.

“Poor broadband in rural areas is one of the greatest barriers to growing the rural economy. The Government has committed to providing all homes and businesses with access to fast broadband by 2020 but that is still a long way off.

“This voucher scheme is an important way for businesses to quickly make a significant improvement, but it must embrace the full range of technologies available.”