Combining technologies and mobile operators working together is key to rural broadband challenge

Combining technologies and the mobile phone companies working together more closely could be one of the solutions to ensuring better and more frequent broadband coverage in rural areas.

This and other issues will be discussed by experts from the fibre, wireless and satellite industries at the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s Rural Broadband Debate.

Taking place in central London on Tuesday 10 June, panellists will representatives from BT and Vodafone as well as Shadow Cabinet Office Minister, Chi Onwurah MP.

This debate will also look at government policy and hear from a range of experts from the fibre, wireless and satellite industries how best to reach the rural population, providing them with a reasonable service at a reasonable price.

Prof Will Stewart from the IET said: “There are a number of possible solutions to deal with the lack of broadband service in many rural areas. The IET has looked at this and argues that it is about a smart network being attentive to the customer's needs and combining the technologies and end-to-end infrastructure together to meet them. In doing this we can reduce costs while extending the reach and speed of internet access to rural areas.

“Examples could include mobile phone companies sharing phone masts and frequency spectrum, leading to significant cost reductions with improved service to customers.  Such user-demand-attentive smart systems could improve reach in rural areas without excessive cost.”

The complete panel is as follows:

  • Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle and Shadow Cabinet Office Minister
  • Gary Miller, BT
  • Matthew Braovac, Vodafone
  • Kumar Singarajah, Avanti Communications
  • Giorgio Tarchi, Eutelsat
  • Matt Yardley, Analysys Mason

The IET Rural Broadband Debate takes place from 9am – 12noon on Tuesday 10 June at Broadway House, Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NQ.  For more information, visit



Notes to editors:

  • Interview opportunities are available with IET spokespeople from a broad range of engineering and technology disciplines including cyber-security, energy, engineering skills, innovation, manufacturing, technology, transport and women in engineering.
  • The IET is one of the world’s largest organisations for engineers and technicians.  We have nearly 160,000 members in 127 countries around the world.
  • The IET is working to engineer a better world. We inspire, inform and influence the global engineering community, supporting technology innovation to meet the needs of society.
  • The IET is the Professional Home for Life® for engineers and technicians, and a trusted source of Essential Engineering Intelligence® and thought leadership.
  • For more information, visit
  • Follow the IET on Twitter.

Media enquiries to:

Robert Beahan, External Communications Manager

T: +44 (0)1438 767336

M: +44 (0)7595 400912