The Government’s proposal to guarantee every home in the land access to high speed broadband by 2033 is not so much a case of jam tomorrow but of jam in 15 years’ time.
We recognise, of course, that running cables to the most isolated parts of the country – the uplands of North Yorkshire are a case in point – is costly and, in some cases, impractical. But the importance of a robust, fast connection to the internet in these areas cannot be overstated.
Broadband is no longer a luxury, provided for purposes of entertainment; it is a business lifeline, and, as ever more facilities gravitate from the main street to the virtual superhighway, a crucial portal to public services.
“How fast is the broadband?” is one of the first questions many of us now ask of a location, and if the answer is “not very”, rural communities will struggle to attract and retain the wealth generators that are their lifeblood.
The need for speed has never been more urgent.