Importance of being connected

Rural connectivity – no!

In this case I don't meant transport systems, or household deliveries, but the means of connecting with the "outside world" using the power of the internet for anyone hoping to work from home, use social media, download schooling or live-stream. It can be fraught with problems if you live outside urban areas.

Shropshire residents have long had difficulties in accessing reliable broadband speeds. It is a lovely county, but its very geography complicates the issues. We are told that 96 per cent of the county enjoys "superfast" broadband speeds (whatever they may be!), but there are many who can testify this is not correct, and not consistent.

And with the internet being such a part of our daily lives, whether for business or pleasure, it is so important that this problem is solved quickly, or all the developments that planners hope to bring to the countryside will die in their infancy.

Access to the internet is only part of the problem. Some households cannot afford the broadband connection, or do not have the necessary hardware to access it. There is also the question of skills. Every child can probably use a phone or tablet, but not every adult.

Sarah Norton is a retired rural dweller living near Shrewsbury

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