Inadequate broadband threatens UK farming, NFU warns

Poor connectivity is still a significant issue for farming businesses across the country
Poor connectivity is still a significant issue for farming businesses across the country

Inadequate and unreliable broadband is threatening the survivability of many farming businesses, the NFU has said to the government.

The comments come in response to the government’s consultation on access to broadband in remote, rural areas.

Farming groups say poor connectivity is still an issue as many producers do not have fast and reliable broadband in order to run a modern-day farming business.

In its response, the NFU said it was 'vital' for the government to focus on helping farmers across the country, many of whom were increasingly reliant on broadband.

The union added that improving digital connectivity would open up opportunities for food producing businesses.

Deputy President Stuart Roberts said: “Good internet connections are so important for a whole range of tasks on the farm – everything from banking to managing suppliers and logistics – as well as for health and well-being.

“Investment in rural Britain not only brings about obvious benefits to food production but can have massive benefits for the whole country.

"This then delivers back to the wider rural economy creating jobs and boosting economic growth."

A wider application of alternative broadband solutions, that could deliver good to average connection speeds for remote areas, should be a priority, Mr Roberts said.

He added that the government and the telecommunications industry should also aim for total gigabit coverage in the future.

“Farm businesses must meet their huge potential; not only by increasing their productivity as food producers but in helping to tackle climate change and delivering on our net zero ambitions," Mr Roberts said.

"We will continue working with stakeholders within the Agricultural Productivity Task Force and others to campaign for investment in our country’s digital infrastructure."