Farmers Weekly warns rural areas could miss out on broadband funding
Only a fraction of total funding for broadband in the UK will go toward delivering super-fast connectivity in rural areas, according to Farmers Weekly.
The publication, which is currently running a campaign entitled Battling for Broadband, claimed the delivery of next-generation access away from towns and cities will attract less than two per cent of overall public funding.
In addition, Farmers Weekly discovered that lack of access to a suitable broadband connection costs rural businesses an average annual sum of £1,288.
To be eligible for the £20 million Rural Community Broadband Fund, applicants must prove they are located in the hardest-to-reach ten per cent of the country, as well as demonstrating demand for super-fast services in their area.
Grants will be paid in arrears and are only set to cover 50 per cent of total costs, while the cash can only be used to finance fibre optic broadband - potentially the most expensive method of delivery for rural communities.
In February, the Country Land and Business Association argued that rural areas are still being ignored in broadband rollouts, with communications providers often competing to deploy faster services in locations that are already well connected.