Since it became widely available, broadband has been slower in rural areas than in towns and cities. Sometimes you only need to travel a short distance into the countryside to see internet speeds plummet. Stats from Ofcom found that urban areas of England enjoy an average speed of 35.3Mb, while rural locations have to cope with an average of 17.5Mb. Why is it so bad in these areas and is there anything you can do about slow rural broadband?
Why was Rural Broadband So Slow?
The faster the broadband, the more advanced the infrastructure needs to be to deliver it. For standard connections that offer slower speeds, an existing pre-fibre broadband phone line is all you need. But to enjoy the very fastest broadband, there’s usually major infrastructure work that needs to be carried out.
This work is straightforward in urban areas as it’s easy to dig up roads to install cables because every yard of road has recipient properties who benefit. Urban residents are also more used to disruption like this and there are fewer objections to any major construction work thanks to there being plenty of other routes available.
Once the road has been dug up and the cables installed, then a single fibre-connected street cabinet is all that’s needed to provide fast broadband to everyone that lives nearby. In rural locations, the process is a little more complicated.
Logistically, introducing new cables isn’t as straightforward, particularly as houses tend to be much further apart in the countryside. One cabinet would only be able to supply broadband for a handful of homes, making it less cost-effective for the provider.
Even if there is a cabinet installed, suppliers have to lay much longer cables in order to reach a house. These longer copper cables actually slow down internet speeds, so even if you’ve paid for the fastest possible connection, you might only be receiving the same as a standard package in an urban location.
It’s also been incredibly difficult for providers to lay fibre cables in rural areas. Digging up a road is far easier than dealing with hills, farms, streams, lakes and more. It’s much more expensive to try and implement or update infrastructure than if you were in a rural setting. Suppliers have had to weigh up the cost-effectiveness of such large-scale work for such few numbers of customers.
There’s also more likely to be opposition from local people that don’t want any significant construction work taking place in green areas. They might be worried that new technology is harming the countryside and even lobby against the idea.
So, Now, What Can You Do About It?
You’ve probably tried turning the WiFi off and on again to try and improve your connection. You might even have thought about router placement and the interference that is sometimes caused by other appliances. If you’re still looking for a quick fix to your slow rural broadband, then check out this handy blog.
However, if you’re sick and tired of waiting hours for a file to download or having to go to the in-laws to watch the big match because your TV signal can’t cope, then it’s time to look for a permanent fix.
There are a number of different packages available to rural customers. It’s been difficult in the past to provide rural areas with fast broadband, but some providers are now offering ultrafast broadband to select locations.
Homes and businesses can enjoy uninterrupted speeds up to 900Mbps. You’ll never have to worry about endless buffering or lag when gaming again. The latest ultrafast broadband solutions allow users to stream, shop or share with ease, no matter how many devices are connected at one time.
Even if you’ve previously been denied by other providers, you may be eligible for fibre broadband. Whereas in the past, installers would have been put off by laying cables under farmlands or in rural settings, now they’re dedicated to bringing all customers a fantastic service with as minimal impact as possible on the community.
The fibre cables that are laid are a significant upgrade on any existing infrastructure that may be in place. Traditional cables are usually exposed to the elements and degrade over time. They’re limited in the speeds they can achieve and the connection you receive directly correlates with how far your home or business is from the cabinet/exchange.
Brand-new fibre cables that are used to carry ultrafast broadband are buried underground and are immune to weather-related issues. They last for far longer than traditional alternatives and there’s no loss in quality over time. They achieve a lightning-quick 900Mbps for uploads and downloads. Best of all, everyone in the area that’s using that system receives the same level of service, no matter the distance.
Find Out More About Fast Rural Broadband
It doesn’t have to be expensive and it doesn’t have to be inconsistent. Whatever the internet is being used for in the house, everyone should be able to enjoy a fast and stable connection that allows them to stream television shows, video chat with friends or play online multiplayer games.
For more information on the latest broadband options available for rural homes and businesses, don’t hesitate to download our comprehensive eBook. It’s packed with useful information that can help you to find the right supply to suit you.
Whilst we add the finishing touches to this free resource, why not take a look at one of our other eBooks about better broadband which we think you'll find interesting...