IN THE NEWS: GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES NEW RURAL GIGABIT CONNECTIVITY PROGRAMME
This month saw the launch of the government’s 2-year Rural Gigabit Connectivity (RGC) programme, which is aimed at making sure rural areas are not disadvantaged by a lack of access to high-speed internet compared to the rest of the country.
The £200 million UK-wide programme will initially focus on 31 primary schools with initial sites in Cornwall, Cumbria, Northumberland and Pembrokeshire being prioritised. Further sites across Scotland, England and Wales will be announced in the coming months.
Other public buildings and services will then be added throughout the course of the programme, such as health sites and community halls.
DCMS Secretary of State Jeremy Wright commented: “Our decision to tackle some of the hardest to reach places first is a significant shift in Government policy and will be instrumental in delivering our plans for a nationwide full fibre broadband network by 2033. Our rollout of superfast broadband transformed the UK’s digital landscape, and our modern Industrial Strategy is focused on investing in the infrastructure that will make Britain fit for the future.”
Fast and reliable internet connectivity has been a staple for urban England for quite some time and as such is often taken for granted, especially when considering as recently as 2017, Ofcom released a report detailing that almost a fifth of rural premises could not yet access a basic 10 Megabit per second (Mbps) internet connection.