The NFU’s annual broadband and mobile survey is now live and members are encouraged to take part in order to build a true picture of digital connectivity affecting farm businesses.
The NFU continues to engage with government about the need for fast, affordable and reliable broadband and mobile phone coverage for farmers, growers and rural communities.
Last year’s survey showed that only 17% of members have a reliable outdoor signal. Similarly, while 93% of farmers said having a reliable mobile signal was important to their business, only 38% feel they receive adequate signal for the needs of their businesses. Only 16% of farmers have access to superfast download speeds.
What is the NFU asking for?
The NFU is calling for full connectivity in rural areas that will encourage farmers to grasp opportunities to improve on-farm productivity and associated business developments such as diversification.
We are calling on the government to commit to the Prime Minister’s pledge to ensure full fibre connectivity for all by 2025.
The NFU also wants to see full mobile coverage and to ensure rural areas are not being left behind with the impending roll-out of 5G.
NFU Vice President Stuart Roberts said: “The NFU’s annual broadband and mobile survey has consistently highlighted the poor level of coverage experienced in the countryside. It’s essential that the rural economy is not left behind because of a lack of mobile coverage and connectivity.
“Farmers and growers more than ever need access to reliable broadband and mobile services to ensure they can remain competitive, productive and innovative in a digital age.
“I would encourage as many members as possible to complete this latest survey and contribute to the NFU’s growing evidence base for better rural connectivity.”
The 2019 survey will run from 2 - 29 September. NFU CallFirst will be carrying out a telephone survey and it is also possible to complete the survey online.
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