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Country News - 2002

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YFCs join rural broadband campaign
Monday 19 August

THE growing campaign to force BT to improve its broadband Internet coverage in rural areas won another ally at the weekend when the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs (NFYFC) threw its hat into the ring.

Only a fraction of BT telephone exchanges have been equipped handle broadband traffic, virtually all of those in towns and cities. The Country Landowners and Business Association launched the campaign because officials believe that rural business will be harmed by not having access.

The YFCs are the latest recruits to the campaign, which has also been joined by the influential Farmers' Weekly. Already, Hundreds of e-mails have been sent to campaigns@cla.org.uk, and to the Farmer's Weekly web site www.fwi.co.uk, in support.

YFC official Richard Geldard commented: "NFYFC represents 20,000 young people who either live, work or have an interest in the rural community. They are no exception in the quest to get faster Internet access. The importance cannot be underestimated."

Douglas Chalmers, CLA's North West Regional Director says: "I am delighted that young farmers have swung their weight behind our campaign, and that they have the belief in the future of rural life and work that makes them want to fight for essential services.

"We mustn't assume, however, that electronic communications are exclusively for the young. We all have older friends and relations who have grasped this method of doing business and socialising when their geographic situation would make other ways hard or even impossible."

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