From slow speeds to patchy connectivity, rural areas are notorious for poor broadband. A 2017 Ofcom survey found that in the UK, the average broadband speed in rural areas is just a little over half of the speeds in urban areas. It’s even worse in the most remote areas as according to a survey conducted by the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), only 16 percent of members had a reliable indoor signal.
There are quick, simple ways to correct this problem, such as positioning your router in an optimal position or getting powerline adapters. But unfortunately, the majority of these solutions are only temporary fixes and tend to mask the symptoms rather than tackling the root of the issue. That issue lies with the actual broadband.
So, what can you do to fix the problem for good? Do rural broadband solutions actually exist?
Actually, there are two main things you could do:
- Choose the Optimal Type of Broadband Connection for Rural Areas.
- Switch to a Broadband Provider that Specialises in Rural Broadband.
Choose the Optimal Type of Broadband Connection for Rural Areas
The main issue with rural broadband solutions isn’t that there’s a lack of options. It’s more that so many are inadequate. Different types of broadband connections offer different speeds, but not all are suitable for rural areas.
There are four options available for rural areas: ADSL, mobile broadband, satellite broadband and fibre optic (of which there are two types available in the UK).
ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) uses telephone lines to offer internet speeds of around 17Mbps. It’s a popular option because of its low cost and ubiquity, which makes it relatively easy to set up - even in remote areas.
However, its quality deteriorates with distance. The further your home is from the nearest exchange, the slower and more unreliable your ADSL connection will be. This can be problematic in rural areas as they’re usually quite far from exchanges. Broadband speed can drop to a few megabits per second which is barely enough for basic web browsing and email checking.
Mobile broadband was once highly unreliable but it has really stepped up in the last few years. But the big catch is mobile coverage and we all know how patchy cellular signals can be in rural areas. If you have good mobile coverage in your village, your broadband will be fine but if not, you’ll definitely struggle.
In addition, mobile broadband options can be quite expensive if you want a package that covers anything more light usage (aka no regular Netflix binges). This is because at the moment, they aren’t generally marketed towards home use.
Widely available across the UK, satellite broadband requires a dish to be mounted with a clear view of the sky. It can provide internet speeds of around 22Mbps, which is sufficient for home use.
However, setup costs can be quite expensive due to the equipment required and their installation. Running costs too could be high and your package may come with a data allowance cap so you might need to monitor usage. Also, satellite broadband tends to have a higher latency than other broadband types so you’re likely to experience lags in activities like online gaming and streaming.
Fibre optic is a future-proof piece of technology that offers ultrafast broadband speeds even to rural areas. There are two types currently used in the UK: FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) which uses a mixture of fibre and copper cables and FTTP (fibre to the premises) which uses glass fibres.
FTTC delivers broadband to your home via outdated copper cabling from the little green cabinet. This method tends to produce inconsistent speeds and can vary depending on how far the cabinet is from your home. The further you are from the cabinet, the slower your internet is likely to be.
FTTP directly delivers broadband to your home. Unlike FTTC, there are no copper cables. Instead, light and glass fibres are used to transmit data and these are much faster and more efficient at doing so. It’s capable of delivering symmetrical upload and download speeds of around 900Mbps, which nearly 10 times faster than FTTC.
Switch to a Broadband Provider that Specialises in Rural Broadband
If you’re finding that you’re consistently experiencing unreliable broadband, it may be time to switch to a provider who specialises in rural broadband. These providers are committed to ensuring rural communities, like yours, have consistent access to reliable, ultrafast broadband because they will understand your struggles.
For instance, Gigaclear specialise solely in providing ultrafast pure fibre broadband to rural communities. We don’t just know the frustrations you experience with poor and unreliable connections, we understand them.
Whether you want to stream your favourite TV show on BBC iPlayer or you want to do a spot of online shopping, you shouldn’t be at a disadvantage just because of your location. Our ultrafast broadband helps you and your household stay connected so you can navigate around the web with ease.
Want to Read More on What Gigaclear Can Do for You?
Gigaclear can provide ultrafast broadband to rural communities but we know that you’ll probably want some evidence of that. That’s why we’ve put together a case study of a live Gigaclear community. Download it below and see what benefits a Gigaclear connection can bring to your village.
Whilst we put the finishing touches to this case study, why not take a look at what else better broadband brings to your life...