A £10m government broadband fund to try and find innovative ways of delivering broadband to the remotest parts of the UK has now opened for submissions.
The money is designed to facilitate trials for technologies such as 4G, satellite broadband and radio links, to see how to best serve the broadband needs of the remotest areas of the UK.
The funding can also be used to test new operating models and financial setups for broadband, to see if there are new ways in which the delivery of services can be funded in the long term.
Culture secretary Maria Miller said that because the rollout of broadband is key to the UK's future prosperity, ensuring rural locations are not left out is vital.
"These pilots will be instrumental in helping us understand how to overcome the challenges of reaching the most remote areas of the UK, and I hope to see a wide range of suppliers coming forward with innovative proposals.”
Some firms have already begun trials to test broadband delivery in remote areas. EE showed off its 4G services in rural Cumbria last November, demonstrating the boost it can provide to businesses.
Rural Affairs minister Dan Rogerson said delivering high-speed services to remote areas would be a major benefit to firms in these areas.
“Fast and reliable broadband coverage is crucial in building a stronger economy and fairer society for farmers and all rural businesses to be able to compete and grow.”
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