Published: 11th Jun 2013
The rollout of broadband services in rural Britain has provoked concerns that it could damage the appearance of the countryside.
Rules that controlled where telephone masts and overhead cables could be installed in rural locations have been relaxed by the government and critics are worried this could ruin the idyllic appearance of certain areas.
Jules Marley, a resident of Settle in the Yorkshire Dales, told the Daily Mail she is concerned about the construction of broadband infrastructure in the region.
"In the last few months, five Network Rail masts have been erected in the Park with no local consultation. The same thing will now happen with the broadband masts - they will ruin unspoilt areas," she told the newspaper.
Last week, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport released details of a new code that stipulates where internet service providers can place masts and cabinets, with an aim of making the process faster and more efficient.
However, Neil Sinden, policy and campaigns director for the Campaign to Protect Rural England, is worried it will allow picturesque areas to be spoilt.
"We fear that the code does not have sufficient teeth to prevent long lengths of new overhead lines and broadband cabinets blotting our finest landscapes and villages," he commented.
Meanwhile, the Friends of the Lake District group has claimed that in excess of 32,000 masts and 150 cabinets could be installed in National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
For an internet service that has a much smaller impact on the rural environment, try satellite broadband. All this technology requires to function is a small satellite dish and modem and no masts or cables need to be installed whatsoever, meaning the countryside's appearance is left untouched.
This lack of infrastructural investment also makes bringing satellite broadband to rural settlements remarkably easy, as there is no need for time-consuming and expensive installation work before hand.
Posted by Mark Wynn
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