Agriculture: 4G

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 23rd March 2021.

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Photo of Esther McVey Esther McVey Conservative, Tatton

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the findings of the National Farmers Union's Digital Technology Survey, published in January 2021, if he will take steps to improve access for farmers to the 4G mobile network.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government recognises that businesses and communities in rural areas need improved access to 4G mobile connectivity. The Shared Rural Network programme, launched in March 2020, is targeted at improving mobile coverage in rural areas. The Government and industry will jointly invest over £1 billion to increase 4G mobile coverage throughout the UK to 95% geographic coverage by the end of the programme, underpinned by legally binding coverage commitments. With funding now available, the Government and the operators remain confident that combined coverage will be delivered to 95% of the UK by the end of 2025, with areas around the UK starting to see improvements to 4G coverage long before completion. There have already been over 700 sites announced by the operators so far this year to help close not-spots across the UK. This will benefit consumers and businesses, including farm businesses.

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