Broadband and Digital Inclusion

We’ve done a number of pieces of work looking at the rollout, availability and usage of broadband and ICTs in rural communities across England, including a Best Practice Guide looking at 12 examples of community and other broadband schemes and Beyond Digital Divides: the future for ICTs in rural areas looking at the future of ICTs in rural communities.

Under our rural watchdog role we also report annually on broadband availability and take-up in our State of the countryside report, and in the past we’ve examined this in our Rural Proofing reports.

The issue was also raised in the Report of the Rural Advocate produced by our chair Stuart Burgess.

Our current focus is about the dangers for rural communities and businesses of the re-opening of a digital divide at higher bandwidths, especially so soon after the great success of ‘closing’ the gap for first generation broadband.

A new Digital Divide could have particularly strong impacts on the disadvantaged in rural areas as there will be an increasing reliance on the web to access training and jobs as physical services are replaced.

As part of our work on digital inclusion we were tasked with providing a rural perspective to the government’s Digital Britain report. Our report ‘Mind the Gap: Digital England – a rural perspective’ raised the rural issues surrounding digital inclusion and highlighted recommendations for Lord Carter’s final Digital Britain report.

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Building Britain’s digital future

posted by CRC | 23 March 2010 at 2:03 pm | Comments Off | from the category: Broadband and Digital Inclusion, News
Building Britain’s digital future

The Digital Britain report published last June set out two mechanisms which aim to strengthen and modernise the country’s communications infrastructure:

A Universal Service Commitment of 2Mbps for all by 2012, but in no way considered superfast broadband
The ‘final third’ project – next generation broadband to 90% of homes and businesses by 2017.

We welcome the Prime Minister’s…

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Welcoming government’s drive for superfast broadband

posted by CRC | 5 March 2010 at 2:43 am | Comments Off | from the category: Broadband and Digital Inclusion, News
Welcoming government’s drive for superfast broadband

The Government has announced that a new body ‘Broadband Delivery UK’ is to be responsible for rolling-out next generation broadband across the UK. At the same time a major report forecasting the future reach of next generation broadband across the UK has been published by the Government.

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Welcoming the Prime Minister’s comments on super-fast broadband for the whole country

posted by CRC | 8 January 2010 at 2:30 am | Comments Off | from the category: Broadband and Digital Inclusion, News
Welcoming the Prime Minister’s comments on super-fast broadband for the whole country

We are pleased to see the Prime Minster’s comments in today’s Daily Telegraph about the importance of super-fast broadband for the whole country.

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Green fields, digital divides

posted by CRC | 21 July 2009 at 12:28 pm | Comments Off | from the category: Broadband and Digital Inclusion, News

The latest issue of Green Futures magazine looks at how access to high quality broadband is a postcode lottery where rural areas draw the short straw.

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Defra announces new funding for dairy & rural broadband

posted by CRC | 16 July 2009 at 12:21 pm | Comments Off | from the category: Broadband and Digital Inclusion, News

We welcome Defra’s announcement of £5.2 million new European funding to be split between the dairy industry and rural broadband infrastructure.

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Ofcom releases maps of 3G coverage

posted by CRC | 9 July 2009 at 4:11 am | Comments Off | from the category: Broadband and Digital Inclusion, News

Ofcom have released maps showing 3G coverage across the country for the Vodafone, Orange, O2, T-Mobile and 3 mobile networks. The maps show that while mobile network coverage in the UK is generally good, some problems persist, particularly in rural areas.

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Calling on Govt to lead the way in bridging the gap on Next Generation Access in rural England

posted by CRC | 23 June 2009 at 9:02 am | 1 comment | from the category: Broadband and Digital Inclusion, News
Calling on Govt to lead the way in bridging the gap on Next Generation Access in rural England

Today we’re launching ‘Mind the Gap: Digital England – a rural perspective’, the rural contribution to Lord Carter’s Digital Britain report. It includes recommendations to Government to ensure an effective and sustainable communications future for rural England and identifies four key areas that must be tackled as a priority…

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Digital Britain: A next generation of digital opportunity for rural communities?

posted by CRC | 17 June 2009 at 9:49 am | Comments Off | from the category: Broadband and Digital Inclusion, News
Digital Britain: A next generation of  digital opportunity for rural communities?

We recognise how important broadband is for people living and working in rural communities and are keen to ensure rural areas are not excluded from the economic, social and cultural opportunities provided by broadband connectivity.

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Minister joins Rural Experience digital fact-finding tour

posted by CRC | 30 March 2009 at 10:44 am | 1 comment | from the category: Broadband and Digital Inclusion, News
Minister joins Rural Experience digital fact-finding tour

Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is joining Stuart Burgess, our chair and the Government’s Rural Advocate, today on our 3rd Rural Experience event, focusing on digital inclusion.

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Welcoming the interim Digital Britain report

posted by CRC | 29 January 2009 at 4:38 am | Comments Off | from the category: Broadband and Digital Inclusion, News
Welcoming the interim Digital Britain report

We welcome today’s publication of ‘Digital Britain: The Interim Report’. Access to higher-speed broadband remains an issue for rural areas.

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Ofcom’s new research to highlight actual broadband speeds

posted by CRC | 5 June 2008 at 9:01 am | 1 comment | from the category: Broadband and Digital Inclusion, News

Following the recent BBC report on broadband speeds in the UK, Ofcom has announced that it has launched a programme of independent research to identify the actual speed of broadband around the country.

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BBC survey shows rural broadband is slower than towns

posted by CRC | 3 June 2008 at 9:17 am | Comments Off | from the category: Broadband and Digital Inclusion, News

Today’s BBC report on broadband speeds in the UK shows there is still a gap between the connection speeds available in urban areas and those available to many rural communities.

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Broadband take-up in Rural Areas

posted by CRC | 23 May 2008 at 9:59 am | Comments Off | from the category: Broadband and Digital Inclusion, News

Yesterday’s news from Ofcom that rural areas have higher takeup of broadband than urban areas is welcome. But although take-up is higher, there is still a gap between the connection speeds available in urban areas and those available to many rural communities.

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Research into the Aspirations of Young People in the Rural West Midlands: Full Report

posted by CRC | 28 June 2007 at 9:07 am | Comments Off | from the category: Broadband and Digital Inclusion
Research into the Aspirations of Young People in the Rural West Midlands: Full Report

This report profiles the aspirations of young people in the region for their current and future lifestyles, within the economies of the rural West Midlands.

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