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Better broadband for rural areas
September 26, 2018

Broadband providers and rural business associations have sealed a new agreement to improve the broadband in rural areas.

Today, an important agreement was signed between rural business associations and the UK's network builder, Openreach. The mail focus of this agreement is the future rollout of broadband to rural locations, improving the speed and reliability of their internet connection. The new agreement is aimed to reduce the number of issues that Openreach face when building rural networks across private farm land.

The issue of rural rollout is that local land owners find that the process for granting way leaves is lengthly and over complicated. The new agreement intends to shorten these processes, allowing land owners to give way leaves to Openreach easily, and therefore reducing the cost and time of a rural broadband rollout.

“Landowners are a committed and crucial part of the solution to alleviate the rural-urban digital divide. It has taken almost 18 months of hard negotiation, but we have secured an agreement that satisfies the government, the infrastructure providers and our members." said CLA deputy president Mark Bridgeman. He continues, "A proportionate increase in the annual wayleave payment, coupled with clear documentation and an effective Memorandum of Understanding, will hasten the roll-out of fixed line broadband beyond what is achievable by the revised Electronic Communications Code alone,”

NFU vice-president Stuart Roberts said: “The NFU and CLA have worked closely to provide the means to enable landowners to easily reach an agreement with Openreach, bringing much-needed, effective broadband to rural areas.

For a long time, the urban/rural broadband divide has been clear. With rural areas suffering with both decreased speeds and reliability. This new agreements marks the end of a long, 18 month negotiation process. With the latest announcement of the phase out of ISDN, this is the latest in Openreach's plans to bring a faster connection to all premises across the UK.

For more information about how your rural business can benefit from broadband, or to find out the availability in your area, please contact us on 01934 882200.

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