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Live in the UK countryside? We’ve got good news about your broadband speeds

The UK government is set to provide significant funding to improve the state of rural broadband across Britain’s countryside.

In a fresh announcement, the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) has revealed that an additional £30 million will be provided to improve rural broadband in the UK.

This funding will be in the form of grants that are designed to “encourage growth” by helping internet service providers to bring speeds of 30Mbps or faster where this is not currently “available or planned”.

The money, which is part of a larger £200 million rural grant  package, is in addition to existing investment in rural broadband currently provided by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Speaking about the news, Rural Affairs Minister Lord Gardiner said: “One in three businesses in this country are based in the countryside, and this government is committed to providing the support they need to create a strong and prosperous rural economy.”

He continued: “This funding will make sure businesses in remote locations can get online, help farmers install cutting-edge technology, create new tourist hotspots and bring high-quality jobs to rural communities across the country.”

MPs say state of UK broadband is ‘unacceptable’

The news comes as a group of MPs this week call for internet service providers to offer compensation to millions of broadband customers who don’t get the connection speeds they pay for.

The concerns were outlined in the Broadband 2.0 report, which was helmed by a group of MPs working on British infrastructure headed up by former Tory party chairman Grand Shapps.

In a statement, Shapps said: “Although broadband is increasingly considered to be an essential utility, the quality of customer services has simply not caught up with demand.”

He continued: “It is unacceptable that there are still no minimum standards in the UK telecoms sector to protect customers from protracted complaints procedures, and ensure that broadband providers are fully accountable to their customers.”

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