Following the broadband money

£400m at stake in webinar test of rural broadband

with 7 comments

Farmers who want a slice of the £400m the government hands out each year for environmental stewardship can now find out how to apply for the new three-tier higher level stewardship (HLS) system via two online webinars.

All you need to take part in the webinars is access to the internet and a telephone, they say.

The webinars, organised by Natural England, are for land agents or anyone interested in how the new streamlined fast-track, standard and complex tiers are assessed.

To register for one of the hour-long webinars or for further information please call 0300 060 1695, or email, and quote the reference and dates NEME848 (19 August 2011) or NEME849 (2 September 2011).

“Once registered, you will receive easy telephone and online joining instructions,” says Natural England.

Br0kenTeleph0n3 would like to hear how this works out on the light of the apparently poor broadband service available in rural areas.

Given the government’s plans to do things digital by default, here is an opportunity to run a real live field test of the technology. If nothing else we might establish a baseline of the practicability of actually doing things online in the countryside.

Please send an email (ironic, this, I know) to saying how the sign-up process was and why, and if you manage to get onto the webinar, what the experience was like, and whether you think this way of doing things is a go-er.

We’ll publish the results here, and send a copy to culture secretary Jeremy Hunt and communications minister Ed Vaizey for their comments, as well as BDUK, so they can take your plight to heart.


Written by Br0kenTeleph0n3

2011/07/26 at 17:09

7 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Problem is Ian, the farmers worst affected won’t know anything about it. And if they did they are so used to managing in the analogue world they will just not bother. These sort of schemes are usually taken up by the big farms, and they have land agents in towns who do all the boring paperwork for them. The arable men will be the ones to benefit. Not the poor upland farmers who desperately need any help they can get. Its just another example of government foolishness. Real farmers have always been the stewards of the countryside, and government is whittling them down and putting agents in their places, to let the wildlife run riot and fill everywhere with weeds for butterflies and voles. Natural England spends a fortune and hasn’t a clue what its doing most of the time. Its the same as me going to London to tell all the bankers how to run a bank…
    … er, well maybe I could do a better job than them come to think of it….
    bad example.
    Its like me telling the telcos how to deliver broadband to rural areas
    er, come to think of it…
    well you know what I mean. Farmers have made this land what it is, and there is nowt wrong with it. Defra should be disbanded and all subsidies cut, and we should stop imposing all these stupid rules on farmers pushing up the cost of food production and then allowing lower standard, cheaper imports in.
    You don’t half have a knack of winding me up these days.
    back to the subject, went a bit off topic there, it would be interesting to know how it works. I might have a go.


    2011/07/26 at 17:42

    • Glad to know there is some sensitivity to this issue. I suspected there might be. I’m hoping that some farmers who do see this will get the word out to their less fortunate colleagues by whatever means you use, absent broadband. Notice in the pub? At the market? Livestock auction? Farmers’ co-op? PTA?

      Ian Grant

      2011/07/27 at 08:38

  2. Will try on the satellite at the farm. Think we know the answers already…..

    Lindsey Annison

    2011/07/26 at 22:14

  3. I have registered. The lady was very efficient. I have also registered for the ELS one too. I asked if there was any interactive ‘chat’ type facility but she thinks not. There will be around 50 farmers/land agents at each presentation, watching it on screen and listening to a voice down the phone describing what they are seeing. I will get an email confirming my registration at the event. so far. so good.


    2011/07/27 at 09:28

  4. Got the email confirming registration. Its got all the info I need. It also has a test site link on it which i have visited and it says my system will work. (java flash and all that jazz).
    so far, still good.


    2011/07/27 at 09:38

  5. This won’t work then at the farm without more work. No landline, and mobile will not work where the computer is plugged into satellite. No need for wifi so not set up. Asked another farmer on satellite up the road if he would take part and might as well have been asking him to model Prada high heels. Not interested at all.

    General feeling here is that handouts from govt are more grief than they are worth. Easier to breed a decent tup or sell a good pen at auction…


    2011/08/11 at 07:16

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: