We understand that broadband is an essential part of life for all communities. Lack of access to broadband leads to increased social disadvantage and is exacerbated due to the decline of and remoteness from local services and other opportunities in rural communities.
On average rural broadband speeds are 15% slower than urban areas and although some many rural communities have benefitted from broadband, overall they have fallen short of advantages for urban populations and this situation is not acceptable.
We know that high speed broadband can improve access to services, quality of life and business viability. Not being able to access the internet or access a high quality internet connection can prevent people from being able to work from home, shop online, access bank accounts, access educational material as well as limiting the access to job opportunities. It can also increase the sense of isolation for people who do not have family and friends living close by, as they are not able to access technologies such as email, webcams and Skype.