Feeds

Town Mouse much faster (still) than Country Mouse

Down these narrowband lanes

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Business security measures using SSL

A huge digital divide still exists between broadband connections in rural and urban areas, according to a new report published today by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.

The study found 95 per cent of people in urban centres - 50 per cent of the UK population – had access to a broadband connection. This falls to just one per cent for those living in remote rural areas and to just three per cent for rural businesses.

Even in market towns, such as Northampton, which count for 15 per cent of the population, broadband access is only available to just over a quarter of residents.

The MPs haver urged the government to put in place practical polices which will ensure broadband is accessible to all areas at an affordable rate. They are also calling upon Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs stand up for those in rural communities.

A draft proposal will now be put before the House of Commons which calls on the government to develop "a strategy which sets out the funding to be made available and the steps to be taken, according to a clear timetable, to make broadband accessible to all."

The Minster for Rural Affairs, Alun Michael, confirmed it was the government’s aim “that every community in the UK irrespective of location, should be able to access broadband at affordable rates within a reasonable time.”

However this was not helped, said the committee, by the government’s policy to let the broadband market develop without any intervention.

The committee instead supports BT’s call on the government to take a more active role in accelerating the growth of rural broadband. The possibility of telecomm regulator Oftel working with BT to speed up the process should be investigated, it says.

BT is to decide shortly which telephone exchanges will be upgraded to offer the service, however the committee recommended that BT set a level for all exchanges, now matter how high, so at least rural areas would know if they were unrealistic in hoping for broadband to arrive.

© Startups.co.uk is the biggest independent small business site in the UK. It has more than 2500 articles covering everything from taking on staff to dealing with VAT.

Related stories

Revolution needed for rural broadband success
BT greenlights rural broadband scheme

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.