The ‘Smart Rural’ report commissioned by BT Cymru Wales, and produced by Wavehill, reviews the use of digital infrastructure and the opportunities it creates, particularly in the agriculture and tourism sectors. With both sectors being an integral part of rural Wales’s economy and offering large employment opportunities, the report gives an insight into the state utilisation of digital infrastructure in rural Wales.
The recommendations from the report do vary and highlight the need for further support for businesses’ to improve their utilisation of digital infrastructure, and offer more accessible digital training in order to raise digital skill levels in rural areas. In order to achieve this the report recommends the need to prove the benefits of digital infrastructure to rural businesses and what outcomes they can achieve as a result of digital investment.
Case studies are used by the report to highlight the social, environmental and economic benefits of digital connectivity for businesses. The report concludes that improving connectivity has the potential to help address a number of longstanding issues facing rural areas, but there needs to be full investment in digital training and infrastructure in order for businesses and organisations in rural Wales to prosper.