News: July 2012

Date posted: 07/07/12


Delighted as I was to read about the new £92m Newcastle/Gateshead city deal, I could not help but feel a twinge of jealousy. Those currently living and working in the town are apparently soon going to be able to enjoy super fast wifi broadband, which sounds to be even better than the fast broadband services that they now enjoy.

Meanwhile, those of us trying to earn a living in rural localities must muddle on best we can with a barely adequate service, if we are lucky enough to have any broadband at all. While Newcastle looks forward to its wifi, rural dwellers have to live in hope that the Broadband UK funding will eventually deliver some benefit to some people. It is good that Defra has finally approved Northumberland’s bid, but now the procurement process must begin. It is unlikely that any actual action will take place until next year, and even then it is thought that the funding level will only deliver about a third of the improvements really required in the county, with Northumberland being very rural.

With a recent report finding that it costs £2000/pa more to live in rural area rather than a town, the rural community is right to feel aggrieved at being over charged and under serviced. How is the rural economy supposed to deliver its potential with such a cost/funding mis match?

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