Slow internet 'holding Shropshire back' header image

Residents and businesses in Shropshire are concerned that the slow internet connections they are currently faced with could be holding them back.

Local publication the Shropshire Star reports that a recent House of Commons Library report places the West Midlands county in 615th place in terms of internet loading speeds, out of a total of 650 locations - something that Charlotte Barnes, councillor for Bishops Castle, believes is unacceptable.

She explained that many households and businesses in the area - but especially within southern parts of the county - are struggling to cope with speeds of just 2Mbps, making downloads difficult and preventing firms from competing against those based elsewhere in the UK.

In particular, farmers situated in the more rural parts of the county increasingly need to file official forms online, which they are unable to do due to the fact that they appear to have been left out of the government's supposed nationwide super-fast broadband rollout.

Councillor Barnes commented: "This is truly appalling and seriously holding our businesses back. Upload speeds are even worse and websites are difficult to build and change. Farmers cannot fill out forms for Defra and others cannot take out money electronically.

"It is simply unacceptable that southern Shropshire is lagging behind the rest of the county, let alone the rest of the country."

As large parts of Shropshire feel rather forgotten by the government and BT, satellite broadband could provide them with an alternative internet connectivity solution.

Furthermore, the House of Commons report showed that just 46 per cent of premises in northern Shropshire currently have access to super-fast broadband, with this increasing slightly to 67 per cent in Shrewsbury.

However, signing up to receive their internet connections via satellite could bring speeds of up to 20Mbps to homes and businesses in the county, improving downloads and uploads, while also allowing people to complete online tasks more easily.