9 August 2002

MPs join fight for faster web access

MPs have joined hundreds of farmers campaigning for faster internet access in rural areas.

The Country Land and Business Association said the response to its Broadband Rural Britain campaign, backed by farmers weekly and FWi, had been "absolutely phenomenal".

"We have had over 300 e-mails from rural businesses offering case studies of how they have been disadvantaged because of slow or unreliable internet connections," said the CLAs Pippa Kidson-Trigg.

The CLA is calling on farmers and other rural businesses to join the campaign by signing its petition or sending in their own case studies. The Association says that one-in-three businesses is rural-based and often loses out to urban businesses because of the lack of broadband availability in rural areas.

BT has now set up a web-site where potential broadband users can register an interest. The company needs 200-500 potential users before it can justify the £250,000-500,000 cost of upgrading each exchange to broadband, it says.

For more information, visit www.fwi.co.uk/broadband or www.bt.com/broadband. &#42