Connectivity in rural areas poor
EE announced last week that London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester will have 5G networks by mid-2019, with higher speeds and enhanced reliability of mobile networks. Whilst this is a big positive for city-dwellers, it only further highlights the growing divide between city and country in technology provision.
Good connectivity is essential to rural areas, linking our towns and villages and allowing entrepreneurs to flourish without having to head to urban areas, yet Ofcom figures show only 18% of UK rural premises can receive an indoor 4G mobile signal from all four networks, compared to 64% in urban areas. Ofcom also states that 17% of rural premises don’t receive “decent broadband”, compared to just 2% in urban areas.
Whilst improvements have been made in recent years, more needs to be done to improve both indoor and outdoor connectivity, particularly in rural areas. Many city residents might be frustrated when they lose signal when travelling through the countryside; imagine living or trying to run a business in a low or no-signal area!
Rural areas are often home to creative, driven people but they’re being held back from reaching their potential because of slow broadband and poor mobile signals. Whilst the Government continues its infighting over Brexit, it needs to remember the people outside the cities, those whose voices may not be heard giving their support or criticism simply because their phone signal doesn’t allow them to call their local MP. Dan Yates Founder of Pitchup.com London SW15