Shropshire Star

Funding targets better access to wireless networks in rural spots

Communities and businesses in the most remote areas could benefit from better access to wireless networks.

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A £7 million government fund will test out new ways to bring together satellite, wireless and fixed line internet connectivity, helping support farmers and tourism businesses to access lightning fast, reliable connectivity in remote areas.

The results of the new approaches will help rural businesses in trial areas make the most of new agricultural technologies by improving connectivity on their land, for example using new drone technology to monitor crops and livestock in real-time, support landscape and wildlife conservation efforts, or develop interactive experiences for tourists.

The fund is one of a broad range of steps the government says it is taking to boost rural communities on housing, transport, digital connectivity and jobs.

Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey said: “The countryside makes up over 90 per cent of the UK’s land mass, it is home to millions of people, and contributes over £250 billion to our economy in England alone. Rural areas are rich in human and natural potential with strong communities and entrepreneurial businesses.

“We are committed to making sure that the needs of people and businesses in rural areas are at the heart of policy making.

"We want to go further in unleashing that potential and support people in rural areas to build the sustainable future they want to see. Unleashing Rural Opportunity sets out what we have already delivered for rural communities and new initiatives to build on that record.”