UK tourism needs urgent investment in fast broadband networks, says Brocade
Broadband “notspots” deter visitors from tourist hotspots, says Brocade
Poor broadband provision across much of rural Wales is driving much-needed tourists away, it was revealed today.
A survey by Ofcom found that much of Wales has the worst broadband provision in the UK, while a report from the BBC uncovered wide concern among members of the country’s tourist industry. The news shows the critical importance of investment in rural broadband, says Marcus Jewell, UK Country Manager, Brocade.
“Broadband rollout has always been prioritised for urban areas, with towns and cities getting network upgrades long before more remote areas,” explains Jewell. “While it’s important that centres of population and economic production have high speed Internet, rural communities are equally as dependent on efficient networks for their economic success.
“Much of rural Britain’s economy depends on tourism, and tourists increasingly expect to have Internet access wherever they are. Brocade conducted a survey this year that found that half of those surveyed plan to access the Internet at least once a day on holiday, while more than 40 percent actively seek destinations that offer always-on connectivity,
“Poor or absent connectivity threatens to do serious harm to tourism in rural Britain,” continued Jewell. “That’s not a matter of opinion – it’s the message coming from Wales Tourism Alliance, which has said that ‘notspots’ puts local businesses at significant disadvantage.
“Investment in modern network infrastructure is vital to meet this demand, but it seems to be local businesses that are so frustrated that they are tackling the problem themselves – 1,700 people have applied for a scheme offering up to £1,000 to tackle broadband ‘notspots’, the Welsh government has revealed.
“The current economy and the squeeze on incomes means investing in rural broadband networks provides vital support to remote communities, safeguard jobs in the tourism sector, and providing a high performance infrastructure that will benefit these areas for years to come,” concluded Jewell.
Brocade (Nasdaq: BRCD) networking solutions help the world’s leading organisations transition smoothly to a world where applications and information reside anywhere. (www.brocade.com)