March 29, 2021
On the launch of Project Gigabit (see item above), the Government also published a Call for Evidence on Improving Broadband for Very Hard to Reach Premises, noting that the UK has some very remote places that may be too expensive to build a gigabit-capable broadband network to, even with substantial public subsidy. According to the Government, less than 0.3% of the country or less than 100,000 premises are likely to fall into this category.
The purpose of the Call for Evidence is to explore the barriers to improving broadband for these premises, which are mainly located in remote and isolated locations in Scotland and Wales, and some National Parks in England, and to explore how innovative new technologies might help change this. This could lead, the Government says, to encouraging industry to use new wireless equipment, low-orbit satellites or high altitude platforms to beam faster connections to far-flung homes and businesses.
The Government wants to hear views and experiences of consumers’ broadband connectivity in rural and remote areas of the UK. In addition, it would also like to receive information on both the known benefits of broadband services and the current barriers to deployment and take-up. Additional evidence, either from the UK or abroad, on technology availability, maturity, capabilities and costs, from suppliers and vendors is also welcomed.
The Government is also seeking contributions from organisations that represent all of these groups.
The Call for Evidence closes at 11.45 pm on 11 June 2021. To access the Call for Evidence, click here.