Cycling fans travelling to Yorkshire for the opening two stages of this year’s Tour de France are set to receive a broadband connectivity boost.
The National Farmers Union (NFU) is teaming up with satellite broadband provider Avonline and farming retailer Massey Ferguson to create free Wi-Fi hotspots in a number of key spectator locations.
Two modified tractors will provide free Wi-Fi to spectators gathering at Hawes and Grassington on Stage 1 (Saturday July 5th) and High Bradfield and Holme village on Stage 2 (Sunday July 6th).
This means that, while they are waiting for the peloton to arrive, fans will be able to get online to check the progress of the race, and upload all their photos and videos.
The two opening stages pass through largely rural areas of Yorkshire, where broadband coverage and speeds vary significantly.
But the Wi-Fi-enabled tractors will provide the necessary coverage and bandwidth for cycling fans to get online at the main spectator hubs.
Richard Pearson, NFU’s Regional Director, told Farming UK that the union is "really excited" about the project.
"We hope it will add to people’s enjoyment of what will be an amazing event," he stated.
"Farmers across Yorkshire are gearing up to welcome tens of thousands of people for the Tour, showcasing the fabulous food and scenery for which the county is famous."
Mr Pearson said getting internet access in the countryside can be "a tricky business", and this is something that people grapple with every day.
"As we understand how frustrating a lack of broadband in rural areas can be, we wondered if this was something we could help with," he stated.
"The result is a great working partnership with Massey Ferguson and Avonline and voilà - tractors can indeed be mobile Wi-Fi hotspots!"