In a survey conducted by the Country Landowners and Business Association (CLA) has shown that the broadband services available in rural areas are becoming more unreliable, but this happens to be at a time when businesses based in rural areas actually need the connections more.
Many businesses are unable to function properly with a network which is either really slow or on some occasions not working at all. This has fuelled the campaign to bring the rural areas up to the same standards as that found in the urban business centres around the towns and cities.
The survey alleges:
Businesses are having to pay for the full cost of broadband when sometimes only half – or less – of the advertised connection speed is available;
Respondents felt that customer service is poor, particularly when the call centre fails to understand the problems involved;
Communication between Internet Service Providers and their customers remains poor and in some cases, non-existent;
There remains, in practical terms, little genuine competition in the rural market.
Rural businesses have not been able to piggy-back onto public sector broadband availability despite assurances that this would be the case.