Broadband for those out in the sticks in an often overlooked subject in the industry due to the low number of people it provides the Internet to. However, there is a real issue with access to the Internet in rural areas, even in today’s world when Internet connectivity is so commonplace. This leaves many people living in the countryside and rural areas feeling like they are being left out, simply because no-one cares enough to get an ADSL line or fibre optic cable to a village with 30 people or less.
So, what do you do if you require the Internet in your rural location but options are limited with the standard ADSL and fibre options available to the rest of the United Kingdom. I’ll look into some options below.
For those of you currently living in rural areas, it may not be uncommon to hear people say you must request for broadband to be rolled out in your area. The government has said that they want to make Britain more connected, but as recent as April this year a BBC article stated that in order for rural areas to receive broadband they must request for it to be installed by ISP’s and then when they have enough people requesting it they will consider it a viable option. It all comes down to the costs involved in installing a cable to the area. If enough people use the Internet in that area, then the infrastructure will be paid off in no-time.
It is, however, shame that the primary reason for installing a line is to make money and not to connect broadband to rural communities.
It was however announced in the Autumn Statement of this year, that the government would be investing over 1 billion in broadband and Internet connectivity, and Phillip Hammond spoke about increasing coverage across the UK. It is hoped that this increase in funding will allow money to be put aside to connect remote areas in the United Kingdom. Now, is as good a time as any to get requesting those broadband services.
It is possible to get broadband services to your home via a satellite dish in a similar way to how you receive a Tv signal through the likes of Sky TV. Satellite broadband has its advantages in rural areas by being able to receive signal so long as you have a clear line of sight to the south. You will definitely be able to receive satellite broadband if you can currently get Sky TV in your area.
Satellite broadband has become more modern and cost effective than it used to be. However, there are still some major drawbacks to satellite broadband. Currently, the maximum speeds available via satellite broadband are up to 20mb per second and can often be a lot lower, sometimes only 2mb per second, which is the same speeds ADSL
broadband offered over a decade ago.
There is also an issue with the cost of usage, like mobile broadband, there will likely be a cap to how much data you can download on a satellite broadband connection. This means that while you can get speeds of up to 20mb, you may not be able to stream films or use catch up Tv as often as you like due to high costs of extra download limits.
Another area where satellite broadband has its issues are in bad weather. If you have Sky TV, you may have noticed the connection drop in heavy rain or wind. The bad weather causes disruptions in signals and can mean you lose connection altogether. If you have frequent bad weather where you are, satellite broadband will also suffer, and you may be disconnected for the entire period of bad weather.
If you are an avid gamer, satellite broadband will not be a great solution for you. This is due to the latency on satellites, similar to the delays you see on a satellite uplink in a news studio. Often delays can be several seconds, and for gaming, this means that playing online is virtually impossible as you will never be able to see where an enemy actually is. He could be long gone before you take you shot, or you may even be dead yourself before the server catches up to your slow Internet.
If you can get a good mobile signal in your rural area, then it may be possible to take out a mobile broadband package. While these will often cost more than landline packages, you can often get high speeds faster than a lot of ADSL lines.
The main issue with mobile broadband is the data limits. Like satellite broadband, you will be capped with how much you can download. If you are not a heavy Internet user currently then this should not be too much of a concern, but it must be taken into account.
Each network will have different coverage, and currently, EE is said to have the best UK wide coverage. It is still, however, worth checking each networks UK coverage map to see what services you are likely to receive in your area. If you cannot receive 4g signal where you are, it may be worth looking at an alternative.
Broadband roll-out is still on-going throughout the UK and many areas will be connected each week. With that being said, it is worth keeping an eye on the Openreach website to see if your area has broadband or when it is likely to receive it. Once it is confirmed your area has broadband, please check out broadband postcode checker to see what deals are available in your area.