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Rural broadband roll-out will take longer

BSG says rural broabdnad is 'complicated'

The government may want on all working Brits online by 2015, but ensuring rural areas of the UK have access to broadband services could take a lot longer, says he Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG).

"There's a lot of work going on, but it's complicated and there's a lot to learn still about what the best and most effective approaches will be," said Antony Walker, chief executive of the BSG

"It's important to recognise that nobody's really done this before in terms of building out next-generation networks into challenging rural locations and therefore it takes time to work out how to get it right."

Last year, the government unveiled its Britain's Superfast Broadband Future plan, in which is detailed the "digital hubs" it hopes to create in every community. The hubs will be connected to the exchanges by high-speed links and ensure every resident in the community has access to the web.

It was hoped a £530m scheme, unveiled last October, that planned to give the residents North Yorkshire, Cumbria, Herefordshire and the Highlands, access to broadband, would kickstart the delivery of net access in rural areas of the UK.

However, Labour MP Ian Lucas recently highlighted that despite being nearly four months old, the scheme has not even been put out to tender yet.

See also: Carrier pigeon faster than rural broadband

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