hand holding 5g phone in woodland

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has launched a consultation into improving broadband connectivity to very hard to reach places which closes mid-June. The government wants to ensure that long-term, long lasting gigabit solutions are made widely available across the UK.

NALC will be responding to this consultation and seeks County Associations' and member Councils' views to help form its response. Download the policy consultation briefing PC3-21 Rural broadband from NALC.

NALC's current policy positions

The following paragraphs outline NALC's current policy positions, account of which will steer the response which NALC are likely to make to this consultation:

  • We also ask as a related issue that new build houses and businesses need to be provided with in-built infrastructure to enable connection to fibre­ optic
  • We support the Rural Coalition's call for infrastructure which reaches rural areas, so the rural economy can grow and create quality
  • We also firmly believe that landscape impacts are a planning The visual impacts of any rollout of broadband to remote rural areas need to be kept to a minimum.

Other NALC Views:

  • Rural broadband is critical to residents in all parished rural communities across England - as is the need for a strong, reliable, affordable and sustainable. NALC therefore thinks that the government should direct the Office of Communications (Ofcom) to conduct an urgent review of the universal service obligation (USO), focusing on what minimum commitment would be needed to sustain and support rural businesses and communities.
  • "Not spots" that still do not have any/very poor broadband connections also need to be given top priority before further SG connections are introduced
  • Local (parish and town) councils should be given the legal power to promote, contribute towards and/or run electronic communications networks and services for the benefit of their local communities
  • DEFRA, ACRE, BDUK and other partners in principle should offer support to local councils who are seeking to develop broadband improvements in their communities

The main consultation questions NALC will be responding to relate to Section 4: Topic A: Demand or improved broadband in very hard to reach locations.

Please download PC3-21 Rural broadband to view the questions and send your responses to Chris Borg, Policy Manager, National Association of Local Councils at   by 17:00 on 25th May latest.