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 and the telecommunications industry about the need for fast, affordable and reliable broadband and mobile phone coverage for farmers, growers and rural communities.
The survey results help NFU lobbying when we are speaking to the likes of Lord Gardiner at Defra and Matt Warman MP, Minister at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), as well as Openreach, Vodafone, Three, BT and Ofcom.
Last year’s survey revealed that more than four out of 10 members don’t believe that their broadband is sufficient for their business. Click here to see 2019's results.
Why you should take part
NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts said:
“The NFU is unique in surveying its members to show the true picture of broadband and mobile coverage for farmers.
“It really is completely unacceptable that in this high-tech digital age we appear to have a two-tier system of haves and have nots.
“British farming is first and foremost a business which relies on having fast and reliable access to the internet, yet as our last survey showed more than 4 out of 10 farmers don’t believe that their broadband is sufficient for their business.
“I would urge all members to participate in this year’s broadband and mobile survey as this will help us continue to campaign for investment in the country’s digital infrastructure, so farming businesses and the rural economy can continue to meet their huge potential not only as food producers but in helping to tackle climate change and deliver on our net zero ambitions.”
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.
What happened in 2019?
The NFU is unique in surveying more than 800 members to show the true picture of broadband and mobile coverage for farmers.
Our 2019 results showed that 15% of respondents reported no indoor signal at all, and 30% of respondents have download speeds of 2 Mbps or less. These are direct challenges to farmer health and safety, as well as wellbeing, access to remote learning and working, productivity increases, business development, and other aspects of farming life.