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Government encouraged to invest in broadband for farms
Tuesday 15 February 2011 10:50:15 by John Hunt

A new report from the Commons environment audit committee has claimed that providing faster broadband services to farmers would help their businesses and encourage young people to stay and work on the farm. A fast Internet connection is vital to farmers to aid them in running their business as paperwork such as VAT returns needs to be submitted online.

"Government must ensure farm businesses can provide a decent income for hard-pressed hill farmers. Farmers in the uplands do a huge amount of unpaid work that benefits the public. The challenge is to find a way to reward farmers while preserving their way of life and wonderful landscapes of our uplands."

Anne McIntosh, (chairman) Environment Audit Committee

With farmers going out of business, this leads to risks that some of our rural areas will come in to disrepair which could threaten tourism. Many paths, walls and buildings in rural areas are maintained by farmers and we need to ensure that we are doing what we can to help farmers stay in business.

The report recommends that the Government provide money to install broadband connections of at least 20meg to the most rural places. This should be seen as a minimum service though and by using technologies such as fibre-to-the-home (FTTH), rural communities will benefit from having a future-proof solution that will last for years to come. Of course, some will argue that the costs of doing this are too high, but farmers will often be able to help with installing cables as they already have the equipment to dig across their own land to put these in.

To see more about why fast broadband is vital to rural communities, particularly farms, see the video linked in our previous article on why universal broadband is important.

Comments

Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
W00t! FTTF bring IT on. once the rurals have fibre then market forces will soon deliver to urban areas, and the copper will be no more, we will be a real digitalbritain and lead the world in the digital revolution.
chris
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
As the Google Ad said...

"Broadband speeds of up to 10Mbps in rural areas with Ka-Band Satellite" LOL.

I hope the report has a better argument than a VAT return - the data from which would fit in a text message.
Posted by CaptainHulaHoop over 6 years ago
even if they run fibre to every farm it wouldn't drive anyone to then go full ftth everywhere else, competition will do that.

anyway, i'm pretty sure you can expect a solution that envolves satalite or wireless before you see FTTF, sorry.
Posted by b4dger over 6 years ago
@herdwick - I thought the "VAT return" reasoning was rather silly.

More like iPlayer and YouTube required! :¬)
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Oh my word, am I reading this right?

They want taxpayers money to pay for providing high speed broadband for BUSINESSES????? I thought April fools gag's were some way off yet?
Posted by Legolash2o over 6 years ago
I don't mind as a taxpayer paying for it as long as it will help create jobs...
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 6 years ago
I totally agree with this article and the government.... all farmers REQUIRE 20Mb symetrical broadband as a minimum so they can send the equivelent of a 20Kb text document once a year.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
TaRkADaHl sarcasm does not become you. We are farmers and we are lucky enough to have a connection through a community wifi network. We would be lost without it. It saves us a lot of money every year, it means we can research and expand our contracting, keep up to date with rules and regulations, watch videos on spraying, harvesting and learn new methods. I couldn't begin to list the stuff we use it for. Its a vital utility, and the faster it is the sooner we can get on with the other work.
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
I'm sure every other business feels the same way, I don't see it claimed they need symmetrical 20Mb. What makes you so special?

Satellite will be perfectly adequate given that you are doing all of the above on a 2Mbps link shared with many other people.

Rurals can pay for fibre themselves rather than expecting optical welfare if it means so much to them and is so essential to business. Surely a good investment?
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
@Cyber:Why would farmers need fibre? I share an office with four software engineers. We are part of a trans-atlantic group developing software for MS Exchange and MS SharePoint (that's client server and often working directly with very large databases). We manage quite happily on a 4/2 connection. We have no problem controlling machines in the US nor vice versa.
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
(cont'd) the only times speed is an issue is with very large test files but mostly we debug using Remote Desktop or download them overnight.

So I repeat my question:Why does a farmer need a fibre connection if four people writing client server software in conjunction with people thousands of miles away don't?
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
I know that UK bureaucracy can be a pain but I think nothing of pulling a 100MB database from Minneapolis. Just how big are these VAT returns?
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
The film I had to upload today was 700MB. are you saying I shouldn't be able to do that because I am only a farmer? what happens to farmers who want to continue to keep the land in good heart but want to make their income up from digital work? Why do you only assume we do a bit of vat and that's it? The film was for a conference. They just assume I can get it to them in time.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
I can easily send well written software files all over the place, and can download updates well over a 100meg too. It takes time, but its possible. What I can't do is shift videos and lots of large graphics and quark collections. Therefore I can't do my day job at home like I used to in the days when all the files went by courier. I can't compete with others who have faster connections. Clients can make changes up to press time, they can't if they use me for their business.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
@AndrueC Let them eat cake huh? you seem to think that because you can manage then others should too. Our argument for rural access is that it won't work out any more expensive to get fibre to rural areas than it will to run new copper or hundreds of satellites. Get the fibre to an area and communities will use it. FiWiPie. There is funding available, and it must not be used for cabinets, as they won't help the people the funding is intended for.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
Dixie, the rurals would pay for fibre for the last bit to their homes. Many have stepped up to the mark to do just that. What they can't afford is the transit, the dark fibre, the dumb pipes. Funding could bring the fibres to the rural areas, and the people would do the rest. Cut out the middleman, futureproof access, and it would drive investment in urban areas so you wouldn't be stuck with crap copper you would get fibre too.
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
There is zero indication it would drive anything in urban areas - it has not done so elsewhere where rural / semi-rural areas have done municipal builds.

Beyond the fibre zealots you associate with no-one seriously thinks this.

Why Chris should you get government funding to send your 700MB when millions in urban / semi-urban areas have no prospect of having their services improved with *their* taxes?
Posted by c_j_ over 6 years ago
"keep up to date with rules and regulations, watch videos on spraying, harvesting and learn new methods"

"The film I had to upload today was 700MB. "

Well that would be absolutely impossible to do with a CD/DVD/USB stick in the post wouldn't it.

"Clients can make changes up to press time, they can't if they use me for their business."

Now the real reason emerges. Pick a business that suits the facilities. That's what market forces are for, surely.
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
I would say the best bet is to lobby your local government to fund you, in my opinion FTTF has no business being funded out of general taxation.

Local government funding, all well and good.
Posted by CaptainHulaHoop over 6 years ago
how much does your video that you upload add to the economy?

surely during a recession it would be more responsible for you to use a courier and dvd rather than waste 10's of thousands of tax payers mnoney putting fibre all the way to your farm.

Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
CJ the business did suit the facilities. We did very nicely for 10 years. It was only when broadband became available everywhere else but not here that the fail set in. The business i worked for went bust. My income went. That business could have grown to employ many. More businesses like that could have started. Saving carbon footprint, keeping people in rural areas to keep them functioning. Making money, paying taxes.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
Dixie, our city council got RDPE funding. Enough to fibre up 7 parishes with its own fibre to manap. County council grabbed the money to put in a bigger pot for the whole of lancashire. City council gave in to pressure, but insisted the spec was followed. County agreed. But then is about to hand over our little pot, and additional £20 million to BT. Who will use for urban cabinets. If we had done our project bt would have been rushing to give urban areas fibre before we pinched their customers ;)
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
hula, you have missed the point. It takes too long to send the film through the post or with a courier, and who are you to say that it doesn't add to the economy? You don't even know what the film was about, it might be adding an awful lot to the economy...
Competitors can send files fast. Watch all the other countries steam ahead and leave us behind. The UK will end up in the same boat as my little farm.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
zero indication Dixie? there haven't been any big rural networks built yet. Not on the scale needed to make an impression and give stats.
I think I would far rather mix with fibre zealots with brains and foresight of what could be rather than with copper fanboys.
What I really object to is that funding for bringing rural areas a connection is being wasted on obsolete tech, and everyone will be moaning again in another few years.
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
There have been municipal networks built Chris, these didn't lead to anything happening in neighbouring areas for the simple reason that there was no need for the players in those markets to care any more than BT needs to worry about Virgin Media in non-passed areas.

That you have to so fall so quickly back to accusing people of being copper fanboys speaks volumes. No-one is a fanboy of copper, companies like money, there is no copper cabal it's all about the £££, don't be ridiculous.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
And what was this oh so important film? No doubt about wanting fibre broadband. Farms get enough subs as it is. If your business wants broadband (of any speed) pay for it like everyone else. Farming seems to be the industry to be in at the moment.. your farm doesn't make enough money? No problem here's a sub to keep you in business, you what you want superfast broadband for (something?) but can't afford it we'll pay for it no worries.
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
Reading further up unsure what you think £20 million will cover in urban areas - H2O burned through way more than that to do not much of Bournemouth.

£20 million would do, at most, perhaps 10,000 homes.

Unless you are referring to digital village pumps again, which are of no use in urban areas.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
The bottom line is (and its the only thing that should be discussed) is that this is a business requirement. If your business cannot afford this type of broadband provision then sorry its not an option. I'm sure there's plenty of businesses in the city that would like faster connections that they can't afford, do we sub them as well or is it just farms that get special treatment. Hopefully the government will see sense on this one, Gov funding for home broadand sure I can deal with that, for business? Its got to be a joke
Posted by MCM999 over 6 years ago
CD appears to have a typical farming mentality, looking for yet another handout paid for by others. For example the Common Agricultural Policy. Businesses, farming or otherwise, shouldn't be looking to the state to provide their tools. Yes we need farms and farmers but we need other businesses as well so are they also to be provided with state funded FTTP?
Posted by krazykizza over 6 years ago
I think they forgot to cut this QUANGO from the taxpayers coffers. This report won't be worth the paper its typed on with suggestions like this.
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
hahahaha, so it continues, rural britian steamrolling ahead with urban britian left a decade behind urban abroad.
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
Link to the report please.
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
I'm interested in where the 20Mb value came from.

I live in an area of London second in wealth only to the City and my only reliable option is ADSL2+, which is good here for about 12Mb/s.

Why is 12Mb ok for me, I work from home two days a week and shift large media, but 20Mb is the bare minimum this tax funded broadband should deliver?

I could probably find it if I look through the report, but it would probably be bad for my blood pressure.
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
As Chrysalis alluded to the evidence indicates that we are way higher in the rankings for availability and rural speeds than for urban. In the most recent study I'm aware of that looked at both rural areas improved our ranking relative to other countries.

We do not have a single city in the top 100 in the world for speed. An awful statistic.

Availability wise though we're near the top.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
If public money is to be used, it must only be used for a solution to last many years. If funding is used for anything less than 20meg then theoretically many lines could be bonded or multiple satellites used. stopgap, and waste.
Far better to do the job right, get the pumps in, let locals do the rest. New companies would do it, and urban people would want it too. The new rural companies would be delighted to supply the towns with broadband. As well as er, water, food, fresh air, firewood etc etc.
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
cd - how do I get a quote from a company to install FTTP in an area with roads and pavements. Assume 20% take up in 2 years.

Where has a rural company installed FTTP in such an area?
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
The problem is there appears not to be enough public money to install FTTP everywhere.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
"If public money is to be used" it absolutely shouldn't that's the whole point, not for any "business". Imagine the outcry if a.nother business (not a farm) was located in a rural area and asked for public funding to pay for their business connection so they could complete. Total outrage of course, just like the mere suggestion of this is. If your business needs superfast BB and can't keep up because of it, it goes to the wall I'm afraid like any other business. Pay like everyone else.
Posted by CaptainHulaHoop over 6 years ago
cd- so you are saying it's good for public money to go to village pump ideas run by local monopolies?

sounds good, as long as they don't go the way of fibrecity/h2o or whatever they were called

in an ideal world there would be enough money to fund ftth everywhere, or even better, enough of a business case for private companies to fund it

Posted by CaptainHulaHoop over 6 years ago
but we do not live in an ideal world, sorry, and using public money to fund fibre to every farm to run businesses not actually necessary to run the farm, or whatever your videos are about, well, it's not a very sensible use of limited funds
Posted by CaptainHulaHoop over 6 years ago
and i don't think anyone is a "copper fanboy" just realistic. i'm sure everyone would like to have full ftth, but crying like a baby about it as you do, achieves nothing. Just saying we should all have ftth does not make it happen, sorry. In the real world things cost money, and this country has none.
Posted by CaptainHulaHoop over 6 years ago
and you complain so much about FTTc being a bad solution, well, yes, it's not as good as FTTh, but it has allowed me to get 40/10 (and potentially faster)meg broadband for the same cost as plain old adsl,

suits me fine
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
@CD
I've seen various ISPs offering 10Mb symmetrical circuits for £250-£299/month. I would have thought that any viable business should be able to afford this, which would solve your problem about bandwidth without requiring any public funding.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
Hula, as long as you are ok then that's fine.
gman99, the business did go to the wall. the more rural businesses we lose the better eh? happy now?

We know there isn't enough public money to install FTTH. We aren't asking for that, we are asking for fibre access into the communities, who can then do the rest themselves with fiwipie. Digital village pumps.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
new londoner, if you can find an ISP to offer that in a rural community then I would be very grateful for a link... I think you will find 'excess costs' of £76k often apply... that is why we need the digital village pump. Its the excess costs wot dus it.
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
I just think it's quite hilarious. Thanks to the CAP we subsidise farming both directly through taxation and indirectly through paying more for food.

The odd thing is that manufacturing was allowed to fail when cheaper imports were available, that employed far more people, yet the 'corn cabal' continues to be subsidised.

If you don't have the infrastructure to run your business do what every other business has to do - either pay up or move to where the infrastructure is.

Either way get your mitts out of my wallet, it's quite empty enough thanks.
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
So how is a DVP funded, how is access managed, it's not that simple. And to get money towards a connection a community would have to demonstrate 101% that they had the resource to connect all potential users at an acceptable price.
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
Here it is:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmselect/cmenvfru/556/55607.htm#a14
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
@cyber:We're talking about farmers here. How often do they need to upload or download videos? I'm genuinely curious. Are you saying that some aspect of their work requires that? Obviously if it's some new regulation then farmers have a case. On the other hand if you're just whining about having to use the post to rent a DVD or that it takes a while to upload a cutsy birthday greeting to Aunt Flossie then tough.

In my opinion government funds should not be being used for personal activities like that.
Posted by themanstan over 6 years ago
Surely this is not a taxpayer issue... any business should be able to afford a connection suitable for the business they run. Unless, the farm is a true ecommerce company fibre is overkill. Isoalted rural communities should receive subsidies for fibre, but not isolated farms. Good business practise and a positive revenue stream is what keeps a business going, not a fibre connection. If you have a negative revenue stream fibre is not going to save the business.
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
I can't find a reference to providing 20M.

The internet is a critical business tool. The efficiency of upland farming will be enhanced by the ability to reliably access information and transact business online. Defra should set out how and by when the super-fast broadband trial will be evaluated. Defra's uplands strategy action plan should set out where and by when the super-fast broadband trial will be extended, and what resources have been identified to fund an extension of the trial.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
No I'm not happy when any business goes to the wall cd, but as already pointed out other industries have gone belly up and the government didn't/couldn't do anything (apart from banks, yes we DO need them) Yet farming still isn't profitable and we all pay the shortfall, now "you" might be asking for money for community pumps, the article is ahout asking for business broadband to be paid for by "we are already skint and getting more skint" joe public. Two.. very different things.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Can't you tell by the unified comments how wrong it is to even ask for this? If the business cannot afford it, it can't have it. Should we be paying for a new tractor a farm can't afford? Saying that its probably already covered under another sub. Why should the taxpayer throw more money at an industry that isn't profitable so you can surf the net all day and send nice videos? If a farm needs such a connection diversify to cover it but don't ask us for more money we haven't got while other business/services are closing and the cost of everything is going up!
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
@CD
Vaioni recently promoted its 10Mb Ethernet service for £250 per month + VAT, others such as Eclipse advertise at £299/month. A couple of calls should quickly identify whether excess charges apply.

NB I've not tried either, so can't recommend them, others may have first-hand experience.
Posted by SheepFarmer over 6 years ago
The difference between farming and other industries is that as a country we need farming as a basic commodity. If farming were left to a completely open market we'd import an awful lot more food, which, as a country, we can't afford. The pound would be worth even less and the economy would suffer.

We'd also import from countries that don't have the same regulations and standards and nobody would look after the countryside.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Don't we already import most of our food? Still no valid reasons why tax payers should pay for a businesses broadband? We need water and electricity as basic commodities too, I don't hear them asking for taxpayer money for their Internet and MPLS connections?
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Its not about whether we need farms or not, its about whether the tax payer should pay for farms broadband, the answer is no.
Posted by CaptainHulaHoop over 6 years ago
@CD i'm not saying as long as i'm ok that's fine, i'm saying just because what works for the majority of the country works does not work for you does not mean it is a bad thing. We have already seen what happend to H2O, trying to install a FTTH network in just one town, hasn't worked out well for them, and yes, probably bad management etc. explains some of it's failings, but the same could be said of local initiatives using "village pumps", there is a lot more to it than just laying a piece of fibre
Posted by CaptainHulaHoop over 6 years ago
especially if the broadband is to be used for uses that are not related to farming.
i may have misunderstood this, but i think cd is complaining she can't upload her videos about farming quickly enough, well, if that is the case, work related to these videos is a seperate business, and not to do with the running of that farm. so for online ordering, tax returns etc, is ka-satalite not sufficient? maybe not, but FttF seems a bit excessive
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
600M video = 1 CD, special delivery Royal Mail overnight. Or upload at 832k upstream MaxDSL Premium = 2 hours.

If the demand were there would we not expect to see some sort of e-Services centre business doing this for the disconnected ?
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
NewLondoner, there is no way you can get 10 meg in rural areas without laying fibre, and that is where the excess costs come in. You could lay gigabit for the same costs, to a pump, to serve many. Hula, most farms do other stuff, other diversified businesses. or do homeworking. I did graphics. I had satellite for 3 yrs, it couldn't cope with uploads. The farmers would do the FTTF bit. they just need POP close enough. A digital parish pump in every parish.
Posted by offcs over 6 years ago
Any connection but pure fibre anywhere in the UK is a complete waste of money. I have gone though all types of connections and speeds, and with Super HD video coming, project Kangaroo etc, we in the UK will, once again, look like a third-world digital economy without fast broadband.. And with some of the people's views on here, I'm surprised that I have a postal service, hospital and phone line (although I don't have a bus service to speak of, nor a railway).
Posted by SheepFarmer over 6 years ago
We import just over half of our food. The more we import the more risky the situation becomes for the country. Most farmers can't exist on just producing food, they need a second trade. Good broadband is one way of increasing the chances of a good second business.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
"Good broadband is one way of increasing the chances of a good second business." No problem with that, you just need to stump up the costs of that yourselves to start with that's all I'm saying
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
If we import just over half of our food we'd be hosed anyway if we lost our import supply, what difference does half or all of it imported make?

The worst part about the CAP is that the EU subsidises its own farmers, applies tariffs to external farmers, then further wastes taxpayers' money by handing out aid to the same countries whose exports it applies the tariffs to. So we both subsidise EU farmers and give aid to others to compensate for the EU farmer subsidies. A disgusting waste of EU taxpayers' money.
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
If you guys can do the FTTF bit CD you should be quite capable of paying for the transit to feed it all. Split it between enough people and it soon becomes relatively inconsequential. Split 76k between 200 installs and you've £380 each. If it's all that important that's pocket money.

Use the CAP money, most businesses don't get money from the EU just to be in business.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
^ touche... instead of asking for government pay outs JFDI that's what your always saying anyway, don't stop at the local cabling, stand up a pump in your parish and all pay for the backhaul? The more sign up's the lower the cost for all.
Posted by SheepFarmer over 6 years ago
We wouldn't lose our import supply overnight, but don't you see that the less food we produce at home the more exposed we are to risk? Who knows what is going to happen to food prices in the future. If we can't produce a good proportion of our food in UK then we could be in real trouble - we could be working just to pay other countries to supply us with food. Food rationing in the 1940s showed just what happens when we rely too much on imports.
Posted by SheepFarmer over 6 years ago
@GMAN99 I'm happy with my broadband, but I can see that the lack of broadband in rural areas is another reason for younger people not to stay. The average age of farmers in the UK is around 58, and increasing. What does that tell you about the future of farming?

Many underestimate the importance of farming to the UK which manages 75% of UK land.
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
"Food rationing in the 1940s showed just what happens when we rely too much on imports."

might have had something to do with a war ? On which basis we perhaps should be looking at defence as well as internal food production.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
Prediction:

Digital Pumps a couple of hundred will appear, and after a few years over half will be redundant or broken.

We will then end up with a single firm hoovering them up, just as happened with regional cable franchises.

It will work in a few areas, but current plans are too vague.
Posted by CaptainHulaHoop over 6 years ago
i aggree with andrews prediction.

and don't get me wrong. i know the importance of keeping farming alive in this country. i don't see running fibre to every farm as that essential for growing a bit of veg.
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
And very difficult to get backing for schemes that depend on an unknown level of (free) available community involvement.
Posted by SheepFarmer over 6 years ago
@herdwick the war highlighted what happens when you can't import food easily anymore and you've decimated your farming sector believing it's not that important.

I don't think spending money on defence is going to make any difference, unless we're planning on invading countries with plentiful supplies of food if things get tough.

Retaining the ability to feed ourselves as a country as the world economy shifts and changes is pretty important in my eyes.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
@SheepFarmer agree totally but its nothing to do with this article. The taxpayer shouldn't be paying for any businesses broadband no matter what business it is.
Posted by kijoma over 6 years ago
We supply broadband to lots of Farms and are even members of the CLA (country landowners assoc). NOT gov/tax funded though! . As for the taxpayer paying, take a look at the amount of tax payers dough that has ended up in BT's pocket so far , scary :)
Posted by CaptainHulaHoop over 6 years ago
@CD , so u admit that the need for a fast connection has nothing to do with farming, more to help with those that want to earn extra with a 2nd job. ok, why should tax payers fund this?
i would much rather the money went to help out with something that will create more jobs, like supporting manufacturing or something useful like that
Posted by CaptainHulaHoop over 6 years ago
also, be careful that having good, fast rural broadband does not backfire and encourage more rich city workers to move out to the sticks and homework, the more do that, the higher house prices are pushed up and then even harder for younger people to live in the area.
Posted by Wizmartin over 6 years ago
It is the unbelievable brass neck nerve of these agricultural welfare kings & queens that is so staggering.

Not only do they receive direct and massive handouts from hard-pressed taxpayers, as well as huge EU subsidies, but they are also protected from competition by tarriff barriers to prevent poor, often starving farmers in emerging economies from being able to compete in our markets.

This too from the most inefficient industry in the UK which requires 50% of the country's land resources to generate less than 1% of GDP! This keeps house prices at levels which many cannot afford.
Posted by Wizmartin over 6 years ago
Farmers constantly peddle this eyewash about food-dependency if there was another world war and lower food and hygiene standards outside the UK (the home of mad cow's disease, CJD etc!) and the public are brainwashed with propaganda about idealised farming/country ideals by the Archers, Darling Buds of May etc from the state propaganda machine funded by a poll tax i.e. the BBC.

Posted by Wizmartin over 6 years ago
If the country really needs the odd wall or fence mended (for what purpose - most taxpayers never go to the countryside - and are made to feel unwelcome by the agriculturals if they do?) then put the job out to tender in the competitive section of the private sector.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
Farmers aren't subsidised, its cheap food which is subsidised. Actually. And thirdworld countries growing cheap food for you all will soon put the price up when all our farmers have moved to cities. if you can grow enough food to feed your family then do it. See just how easy it is. The poor starving farmers in other countries are not hampered by massive hse and welfare standards as we are. They are now exploited by supermarkets. Just like we all are I guess. That is why they are poor.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
And the more rural businesses start up the more tax is paid, the more money is spent, and the digital economy will start to take off. Leave a third of the country with the substandard connectivity it currently has and it will never take off, and we will be left looking like a third world country. By putting fibre into rural areas you can get everyone online, not just the farmers. A lot of the final third is in urban areas as well you know.
Posted by CaptainHulaHoop over 6 years ago
yes, but final 3rd relates to landmass, not number of customers.

99% by population/landlines can have access to broadband
Posted by cyberdoyle over 5 years ago
Its ok believing the stats that 99% have access to broadband, but it isn't really true, they are connected to 'broadband enabled exchanges' which isn't the same thing. A third of the people have substandard or non existant connections despite the propaganda. You only have to talk to people, rural and urban to find out the truth. Stats can say anything you want them to, the truth comes from talking to people.
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