CLA worries that thousands of users in rural areas could be left without access to broadband services
BT is closing its dial-up internet service on 01 September 2013, raising fears that thousands of users in rural areas in the UK could be left without access to broadband services.
The British telecom firm, in June 2013, had notified its customers using narrowband connection regarding the change of plan, and suggested them alternatives including an option to upgrade to broadband.
A BT spokesman said that the company is closing its dial-up service in September.
"This is a legacy product that is only used by a tiny number of customers, most of whom can easily transfer on to broadband for a cheaper price," he said.
"Our estimate is that only 1,000 of the current customers will be unable to access broadband following the change but they will continue to have dial-up access via PlusNet should they choose to, once again for a cheaper price.
"No one is being left without the option of an alternative service."
However, the Country Land & Business Association (CLA) projects that about one fifth of those residing in rural areas do not have access to any broadband connectivity.
A spokesperson for the CLA was cited by the Telegraph as saying: "We are concerned about the decision by BT to cut off the narrowband service and we are seeking to clarify the situation on behalf of our members."
Currently, BT is ramping up its broadband access in rural areas, as part of the British government’s £530m Broadband Delivery UK initiative.
BT is also shutting down some of its vital email services from 16 September 2013 as part of its efforts to simplify its email product alternatives, including BT Basic mail.