“Rural communities suffer from the poorest broadband speeds and worst digital connectivity.”
“It’s vital that rural businesses and communities in the UK are no longer ignored by the Government.”
Going digital in small town England has to be the future if such places are to thrive:
Digital and creative now dominate the economy – Vision Group for Sidmouth
Beside the digital seaside – Vision Group for Sidmouth
Human skills in the digital future of work – Vision Group for Sidmouth
All sorts of digital things have been promised of late in these parts:
Funding to help boost the countryside economy welcomed in Devon – Devon Live
Digital Secretary attends Royal Cornwall Show to champion £5 billion boost for rural broadband – GOV.UK
Is this all really enough, though?
Why we must prioritise investment into digital investment
A key aspect of any ‘Levelling Up’ agenda has to be bridging the ‘Digital Divide’. Access to fast and reliable broadband is essential for people in both their personal and professional lives, yet we still see a stark imbalance between its provision in urban and rural areas in the UK. For those who are most digitally disadvantaged, quite simply nowhere near enough progress has been made to bridge this gap. If the next PM is to deliver on the promise of the ‘Levelling Up’ agenda for rural communities in the UK, further and more targeted digital investment will be crucial.
It is more rural communities that most frequently suffer from the poorest broadband speeds and worst digital connectivity in the country – and yet these are the areas being pushed to the back of the queue. So whilst the Government can point to examples of investment in digital infrastructure, the disparity between rural and urban areas has yet to be adequately addressed. These days, good quality broadband really ought to be seen as a basic need alongside other utilities, such as water and electricity...
Ensuring investment into digital infrastructure across the rural rubicon would have a revolutionary impact on rural Britain and reverse years of slow rural decay, by maximising the potential of a community that plays such a core role in our national prosperity...
It’s vital that rural businesses and communities in the UK are no longer ignored by the Government. Our next Prime Minister needs to not only look at urban environments but also invest in rural communities to bridge the digital divide. Without such investment, the promise of the ‘Levelling Up’ agenda will never be realised.