‘Final third’ may still miss out on BT broadband investment, says CLA.

29 October 2013

The CLA today (14 September) welcomed the latest phase of BT's super-fast fibre optic broadband programme but said it could still leave the "final third" of the UK without a decent infrastructure.

The Association said although the investment is appreciated, rural areas and the remote "final third" may miss out because the funding is making the already-fast faster rather than addressing the needs of the countryside.

CLA President William Worsley said: "We welcome BT's expectation to make super-fast fibre optic broadband available to two-thirds of UK homes and businesses by the end of 2015, although these are places that already have a decent broadband service.  

"BT should focus on those rural areas with barely adequate broadband or none at all. The final third of the country still lacks any broadband service and will be even further behind by 2015." He added: "We recognise a Public Private Partnership is needed to address the needs of supplying broadband to the most rural and remote areas. 

"If the Government is determined to have the best broadband network in Europe, it must work to encourage public and private partnerships and projects to bring faster technologies to rural Britain."

Mr Worsley added that Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg's assertion that broadband infrastructure projects are a priority for economic growth in rural areas was a welcome boost to the countryside.

He said: "However, Mr Clegg must provide more information about how and when these projects will move forward."