The CLA has launched a policy paper on rural broadband to mark ten years of lobbying for everyone in rural areas to benefit from an effective and affordable broadband connection.
The Association celebrated a decade of its broadband campaign by publishing Broadband Fit for Rural Growth, which sets out its vision for the future of rural broadband and calls for a strategic alliance with other rural interest groups to further influence the rural broadband debate.
CLA North Regional Director Dorothy Fairburn said: “Broadband acts as an economic driver for rural businesses as well as helping the social development of rural communities. But between 15 and 20 percent of those who live in rural areas in the North are still unable to receive anywhere near the Government’s benchmark of two Megabits per second (Mbps).
“Although there have been some notable successes in the ten years since the CLA started campaigning, there is still a huge amount to be done to ensure coverage is universal.”
The policy calls on the Government to provide a framework allowing rural communities to “piggy-back” onto public sector broadband which already exists in many rural locations such as schools and libraries.
“Payments to providers must be performance-related to ensure fast, effective broadband in rural areas.”