In the latest article on its opinion website, Entanet looks at the potential contribution that the absence of high-speed broadband services in rural areas could make to the further economic decline of the more remote regions of the UK.
In the piece, Paul Heritage-Redpath, Product Manager at Entanet, draws on recent comments by the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, Richard Lochhead, and an article on ISPreview, to illustrate the very real prospects that more remote areas of the UK will continue to be starved of high-speed access and that this will be a factor in driving more businesses and people to migrate into urban areas.
He points out that fast connections are starting to become more important today than many other local amenities, but with rural areas having little attraction to ISPs who need to be certain of getting a return on infrastructure investment – and BT moving in as soon as they threaten to make such investments – there is little chance of higher speed services being delivered to areas such as the Scottish Highlands and other thinly-populated regions.
Without a significant change in government policy, the prospects do not look bright for these areas, Heritage-Redpath concludes. “Much greater transparency, financial commitment and competitive opportunity are needed to bring rural communities up to speed with the urbanites. Until that happens, we’ll continue to have a digital divide in the UK, rural communities will continue to lag behind cities and towns, and their prospects and populations will continue to decline.”
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