Digital regulator Ofcom has announced new plans for Openreach to operate more independently of BT, and for BT to open up its network to competitors.
From our point of view, it’s really important that the rural broadband market is allowed to flourish and for our farmers to know if, and when, they will get broadband through the BT rollout to 95% of the population. If not, they need to know what other choices are available.
Access to quality broadband is essential for productive farm businesses seeking to bring quality food to the consumer, so we also welcome three new measures announced today by Ofcom. All have been part our lobbying:
Openreach will be made to repair faults and install new lines more quickly. Many farmers are relying on old infrastructure that slows down services and getting faster repairs could make a real difference.
Performance tables will be published from next year, showing who provides the best service. With performance tables at last we will be able to know who really is interested in providing rural broadband and where farmers and rural communities should best spend their money.
Broadband coverage checkers will be available by address and not just postcode. So many farmers have waited in vain for broadband to come to their postcode only to find their property cannot be connected.