Rural connectivity on track for boost

Ministers’ plans to hold a £1bn auction for phone lines along the UK railways is set to narrow the urban/ rural digital divide, according to Michael Armitage, CEO of broadband provider Broadway Partners.


He said: “The investment in Network Rail’s trackside fibre optic network is an encouraging development for people and businesses in rural areas.


“Given the well recognised lack of competitive fibre infrastructure in rural areas, Network Rail’s announcement brings us one step closer to bridging the gap between rural and urban coverage.”


Ministers are looking for private-sector telecoms investment to switch out copper lines for full fibre, with bidders to become responsible for 250 new phone masts near railway tracks.

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