IPSE welcomes announcement on rural 4G improvements

The government led scheme to extend 4G coverage across rural ‘blind spots’ has been welcomed by IPSE.

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IPSE’s Deputy Director of Policy Andy Chamberlain said: “IPSE has been banging the drum for greater investment in digital infrastructure for some time. Today’s announcement is therefore very welcome news.

“Good connectivity is essential to all businesses and the self-employed are no different. It enables freelancers to communicate with clients, find new work opportunities and market their business. Improved 4G coverage will therefore provide a vital boost to those in rural areas.”

The government is working with mobile network providers EE, Three, Vodafone, and O2 to help fund the investment and create what they are calling the Shared Rural Network. Using money from the mobile firms along with public funds, the government hopes to eliminate rural 4G blind spots.

Chamberlain continued: “The collaboration between the public and private sectors seems to have worked well here. Government should now consider whether a similar model could be used to extend super-fast broadband across the whole of the UK. IPSE’s Remote Working report, published earlier this year, found that for 78 per cent of the UK’s self-employed population, reliable broadband is the most important tool to enable remote working.

“As we prepare to leave the EU, it is essential that the self-employed are given the tools needed to drive innovation and push our economy forward.”

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