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Anyone who lives in Norfolk or the surrounding rural counties know all too well the difficulties and frustrations of getting a good connection – whether by phone or internet.

All of which makes the news that all businesses and households will need the internet to make calls from 2025 a bit of a worrying proposition.

The switch from landline telephone to digital calls will take place in just over three years time, but for people living in areas with poor mobile phone reception or where they struggle to reach internet speeds of one megabit per second (Mbps), that roll out is likely to come too soon for comfort.

While there is little doubt that the future of telecommunications is digital, there are fears that the proposed date for the switch will leave many businesses and households stranded with inadequate broadband.

Speaking to the Farmers Guardian, NFU Business and Rural Affairs adviser Amy Corbett said: “The move to end landlines will have a significant impact on many of our members who continue to suffer from poor mobile signals and less than adequate fast and reliable broadband.

“We would urge the telecoms industry not to rush these proposals through and instead make the Shared Rural Network a priority to help address our longstanding concerns over a lack of decent 4G coverage in rural areas.”

Corbett also called for a wider application of alternative broadband solutions that can deliver good to average connection speeds for these very hard to reach rural areas to be made a priority for investment.

Picture courtesy of: Ilyahov