Government investment in rural broadband rollout will be boosted considerably if Labour is victorious in the next General Election, the shadow farm minister has pledged.
According to Huw Irranca-Davies, at least £75 million in additional funding will be allocated to getting more remote locations online and boosting top-line speeds in areas that currently have limited or poor connections.
In a fringe meeting for the National Farmers Union at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton on Monday (September 23rd), Mr Irranca-Davies will explain that many rural areas are just as reliant on broadband as their urban counterparts.
"A Labour government would switch half the money - £75 million - from the super-connected cities programme to a digital inclusion programme. That could help some two million people get online," he will say.
The pledge follows a claim by the Country Land and Business Association earlier this week that the current government is failing to seriously consider the problems that can be caused by rural areas having unreliable or non-existent internet connections - an issue that will be exacerbated when DEFRA's migration to a solely online farm payments system is completed.