Monday, 19 October 2009

Prince Charles Concerned by 'Broadband Deserts'

The Prince of Wales writing in The Telegraph has expressed his concern at the lack of mobile broadband coverage in rural Britain. Charles, who set up the Rural Action Programme following the Foot and Mouth outbreak in 2001, believes that rural areas need high speed broadband in order to prosper.

"...there is no doubt that our countryside remains in crisis and we have to continue to find new ways to help. The provision of services – without which no community can survive, let alone flourish – must be central to our efforts. And it has become clear that one of those services – the lack of access to high speed broadband – is putting many of those who work in rural communities at a severe disadvantage."

Mobile broadband
has been suggested as the solution to the problem of limited fixed line broadband penetration in rural areas. The Government's aim of 'Broadband for all by 2012' as part of the Digital Britain Report is reliant on increasing mobile broadband coverage. Currently about 2 million people in rural areas are not able to receive broadband of 2mbps or above.

The Prince said that access to broadband would help to support businesses, schools individuals in rural areas. He describes "broadband deserts" where no signal is available and warned that without broadband more farmers would have to abandon their livelihoods.

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