The Country Land and Business Association's 'Rural ICT Watchdog' has today
reached agreement with BT to test the BT two way broadband Satellite System.
This news will benefit the thousands of CLA rural business members and many
other supporters of the CLA's Broadband Campaign, who are eager to secure
realistic information about obtaining faster internet access in rural areas.

The CLAs high profile "Broadband for Rural Britain" campaign was launched
last July, and received over 1400 e-mails of support. MPs from all parties
are now supporting the CLAs Broadband campaign in Parliament. A recent
Commons Motion (Early Day Motion) tabled by Jim Knight MP, now has 92
signatures of support.

The CLA Campaign team sit on the Government's Broadband Steering group, and
policy recommendations have led the CLA to launch a "Rural ICT (information
communications technology) watchdog" which now has as one of its chief goals
the delivery of affordable broadband to rural areas.  The CLA satellite
tests are to be completed over the coming months and this will be an
opportunity to assess the equipment. Added to this, the CLA will be
conducting  a major broadband connectivity survey to assess how many of its
business members can actually access and benefit from wire borne ADSL.

Dr Charles Trotman, Rural Economy Adviser, said: " I am extremely pleased
that we have been able to link up with BT to test the broadband satellite.
It is now well known that wire borne ADSL is unlikely to be available to
many of those businesses in rural areas that desperately need it. This gives
us the opportunity of assessing both the advantages and the problems
associated with satellite technology.

"This is a particularly encouraging beginning and I see this as the start of
a very productive dialogue with BT. One of the key goals of the CLA
Broadband campaign has been to call and lobby for affordable broadband and
to ensure that rural businesses are aware of the available options. In this
we have succeeded. What we must now do is to make sure that we continue to
push home this message and to secure Government support for allowing rural
business to benefit from the broadband public infrastructure."


For more information:
Pippa Kidson-Trigg PR Campaigns Manager 020 7460 7936

Pippa Kidson-Trigg
PR Campaigns Manager, Country Land and Business Association (CLA), 16
Belgrave Square, London, SW1X 8PQ ,, Direct Line 020 7460 7936  Mobile 07889
912 881, Switchboard 020 7235 0511
 support the campaign
 "CLA:RURAL ECONOMY IS OUR BUSINESS" The CLA is the leading organisation
representing and supporting owners of land and businesses in rural
communities. The CLA exerts political pressure through authoritative
briefing and lobbying of policy makers, and aims to provide the best advice
and service to members.