Mobile, broadband coverage in rural England worse than IndiasDecember 27th, 2007 - 2:22 pm ICT by admin
London, Dec.27 (ANI): The mobile and broadband coverage in rural England is worse than what exists in some parts of India and Malawi.
According to Stuart Burgess, the chairman of the Rural Communities Commission and the Government’s Rural Advocate, there is need for the government to invest in new technologies in the British countryside if the future economic viability of these remote regions is to be ensured.
“Broadband is still not accessible and, even where it is, the quality is questionable. For the modern rural economy to develop and grow you need good Internet access. We also need to improve the mobile phone coverage,” Burgess was quoted, as saying.
“In countries such as India you have good mobile networks.” Unless the issue was addressed by the Government, rural communities could be further disadvantaged, he added.
The Times quoted Burgess as saying that this project should be taken up on priority to prevent an exodus of young people from the countryside to towns.
The issue is to be a key recommendation in a report to the Prime Minister by Dr Burgess on the state of the rural economy in England, which is due to be finalised early in February.
Mobile phone operators focus on providing coverage to as many people as possible, rather than the greatest area possible, with the result that rural areas with low population densities attract fewer resources, Burgess said.
Dr Burgess has also proposed the creation of a renewal and enterprise council; the building of 11,000 affordable homes each year; the ending of discounts on council tax for second homes; financial support for hill farmers; a national debate on future land use; and “rural proofing” of policies to ensure that rural areas are given fair treatment. (ANI)
Tags: advocate, british countryside, broadband coverage, economic viability, enterprise council, exodus, future land, hill farmers, malawi, mobile networks, mobile phone coverage, mobile phone operators, national debate, population densities, prime minister, rural areas, rural communities, rural economy, rural proofing, stuart burgess