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Prince of Wales Attacks Digital Desert of Rural UK Broadband

Posted: 12th Oct, 2009 By: MarkJ
The Prince of Wales, writing for the Daily Telegraph, has attacked the poor quality of broadband services being delivered to rural parts of the UK where most are still "unable to access the Internet at satisfactory speeds".

Prince Charles said:

"Access to the Internet is increasingly being considered a necessity. There is not a business in the country, with any ambition to succeed, that does not have an email address or a website. Yet still too many rural households are currently unable to access the Internet at satisfactory speeds.

The handicap this places on those rural businesses, schools, doctors' surgeries and local authorities, which inhabit these so-called "broadband deserts", is immense. And, even more worryingly, many of those who are being left in the Internet's "slow lane" are the very same people who look after the countryside on our behalf – Britain's livestock farmers – and they are struggling as never before.

...

Quite frankly, the fear that many of us hold is that after 2012, when support from the E.U. will alter so dramatically, it may be simply impossible for our family farmers to continue – particularly in the remote uplands, where farming is at its toughest. If they are to stay on the land they will need all the help they can get, and denying them broadband, and effectively cutting them off from the Internet, will only be more likely to drive them off the hills and into the towns and cities taking with them generations of inherited knowledge."

His voice is sadly only the latest in a very long line of criticise being faced by the UK's woeful broadband performance in remote and rural parts of our country. The government would of course point towards its Digital Britain report, which plans to make speeds of at least 2Mbps available to everybody by 2012, while the rest of us might simply say - "too little, too late".
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