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25 September 2013

Rural broadband provision must be a priority for Government

Reference number: FSB PR 31/2013

Commenting on the findings of the Public Accounts Committee report on BDUK''s rural broadband programme, John Allan, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman, said:

"The findings of the public accounts committee echo many of FSB''s concerns regarding the BDUK rural broadband programme, particularly that small rural businesses are failing to benefit from competition in this sector.

"The lack of fit-for-purpose connectivity in rural areas is something that must be addressed, as rural firms are already at a disadvantage to their urban counterparts. With the Government''s ‘Digital by Default'' policy firmly in place, the roll-out of rural broadband needs to be a much bigger priority, and a range of providers should be enabled to fill the gaps in the current programme. Increased competition will lead to increased provision of broadband, and the end goal must be to get the entire UK universally connected."