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Farmers say poor rural connectivity is leaving them behind

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Jan 16, 2019 6:34 AM 3+ mon ago

Farmers say poor rural connectivity is leaving them behind

The National Farmers Union (NFU) says it plans to hold the government to its pledge to improve rural connectivity after a new report highlighted the persistence of poor mobile and broadband coverage in remote areas.

A survey of NFU members found that 93 per cent of farmers consider a reliable mobile signal to be important for their business, but just 38 per cent said this was the case. Only 19 per cent said they had a reliable indoor signal in all locations, a figure which drops to 17 per cent for outdoor.

Nearly all farmers own a mobile phone, with 83 per cent having a 4G smartphone, and 96 per cent have access to the Internet. However, three quarters of all farmers are connected via copper - and eight per cent via satellite - and 45 per cent say speeds are not sufficient for their business.

Just 16 ...

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