We have the opportunity to sustainably boost the development of rural communities across Europe.
We know that access to digital infrastructure can help citizens to improve their livelihoods, enable businesses to flourish, make society more resilient and transform the way we live.
Fast, reliable, connectivity is necessary for economic growth and social well-being.
For rural economies, next-generation networks are critical for creating new jobs, enabling flexible working, improving the productivity of agriculture, and enhancing local public services.
Our vision for rural.connected
15% of the EU’s population live in predominantly rural areas and almost half of all homes in rural or remote areas have no access to fast broadband, leading to a significant urban rural digital divide.
Inadequate broadband coverage means that rural communities do not have the infrastructure needed to get online and access digital services.
If the digital divide is left unaddressed, it will widen and people in remote areas will be left behind in an increasingly digitalised world.
Connectivity and digital services help rural communities remain vibrant and realise their economic and social potential. Together we can achieve it.
Income and Employment
Our support of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and rural entrepreneurs can drive income and employment opportunities. Digital connectivity can boost local economies and employment through increased teleworking and productivity while attracting and developing new digital businesses.
Environment and Climate Change
Many rural areas are highly dependent on agriculture. If farming can adopt smart technologies, there are enormous opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, use fewer natural resources and encourage a more sustainable economy.
Infrastructure and Public Services
Access to high quality public services including health, education, and transport can keep rural communities vibrant. Digitalisation can create and improve access to public services in rural areas so that rural residents are not at a disadvantage to those who live in urban areas.
Connectivity gives people in rural communities the opportunity and the flexibility to work, learn, stay in touch with family and friends and access public services.