Group calls for push on 4G coverage to help rural businesses

RURAL areas are at risk of being side-lined by plans to roll out 5G before they even have fast and reliable 4G coverage, according to a group that represents landowners, businesses and farmers.

The CLA welcomed government plans to increase connectivity in the countryside, but warned that rural economic growth is being put at risk due to the failure to recognise that 4G for all must be achieved before rolling out 5G services.

CLA senior rural business adviser Charles Trotman said: '˜We welcome the government's intention to connect hard-to-reach rural areas. The future of the rural economy depends on fast, affordable and reliable connections.

'˜Many rural areas fall short of a 4G service due to the inability of mobile network operators to resolve poor signal. Rural business must not be side-lined. It is vital that 4G coverage is in place first because a future 5G service relies on 4G infrastructure.'