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Rural broadband rollout and how to improve connectivity in your area

While decent market offerings for broadband have been a standard choice for urban residents for a long time now, as with a lot of technological developments, rural homes have to wait longer to have the same choices. The Broadband Delivery UK organisation, part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, has set a target of delivering superfast broadband to 95% of homes which will be achieved soon.

However, for the remaining communities that will not be covered by this initiative, the choices are more limited. One option is satellite broadband, but this is more costly and does not provide great performance compared to ADSL or fibre. Another option is to organise as a community and start an initiative to get broadband availability in your area. There are several sources of information and assistance for this.

First of all, it’s good to contact BDUK to get an idea of the plans for broadband near you. If there is a forthcoming plan to start broadband in your area then it is hardly necessary to explore other options.

If there is still a need for community based cooperation to explore the options for broadband in your area, then consulting the Rural Broadband Partnership is a good move. They will let you know what steps can be taken and what projects already exist in your area. They will also be able to provide you with post and email templates to ensure that you can contact the relevant organisations (like local councils) correctly. An example of a community who successfully partnered with BT to get a high standard broadband service is that of Claverton in Somerset, which has a population of only 115, but was able to get their broadband speeds from 1Mbps to eighty times that.

Community Broadband Scotland are another organisation that can help. Scotland’s sparsely populated areas are a challenge for installation of the latest broadband technology. Community Broadband Scotland provide funding assistance to communities with less than 2Mbps connections. Satellite broadband is the only option for some very remote parts of Scotland, but many areas are not as limited in their options but would be required to cooperate together to get broadband moving in their area.

But conventional ADSL and satellite are not the only options, there are other technologies like 4G mobile broadband and fibre that could be even better alternatives. The government run pilot schemes for these technologies in many areas, so it might be worth considering some of these options.

Mobile broadband speeds can rival ADSL, so they are a good idea – but some areas get lackluster signal which can be improved by projects by the government or telecommunications companies, so if there is substandard signal inquiries should be made with those organisations on how to improve it.