England's National Parks are often found in deep rural areas. Here, modern telecommunications can be slower or absent compared to many towns and cities. The English National Park Authorities are keen to see improved coverage and speed for broadband and voice services, and are working with local communities and private communications operators to ensure their needs are met in ways that respect these nationally important landscapes. This will help local businesses, farmers and the wider rural community to make the most of the opportunities available. And given England’s National Parks host 90 million visitors a year, improved telecommunications (sensitively done) will also support the tourism economy.
NPAs are providing pragmatic support to the roll out of modern communications infrastructure. This includes through identifying sites; encouraging communities to sign up for broadband; working alongside local authorities on BDUK contracts; discussing options with landowners with whom we have built up trusted relationships over many years, and in ensuring that there is wide dissemination of information on delivery. We are also proactively piloting alternative technologies in some National Parks to see if particularly hard to reach communities can be supplied to ensure they are not left behind. Nationally, National Parks England has brokered a number of agreements to ensure effective dialogue between NPAs and companies.