What can I do in the meantime?
In the short term, the choices for rural areas might feel limited, but it might be worth investigating the following:
- Registering your interest
Sign up and register your interest for fibre broadband with BT. The more people that sign up, the better. If there’s a return to be had on BT’s investment, the chances are you’ll be more likely to get a faster service.
If enough of you club together you can potentially convince the government that your area should be added to the rollout list. If other’s in your community are as frustrated as you, they may have already begun this process, so find out and add your name.
- Fund it between your neighbours
It has been known for local communities or entire villages to club together to pay for the installation of fibre broadband. If you have likeminded neighbours, this could be a help.
Others have avoided the main suppliers completely and chosen to ask a private company to install a local network. You’ll need to be prepared to pay more choosing this route, but it might be worth it to you.
- Reach out to a smaller supplier
Sometimes companies will get a special grant for rural broadband rollout. So it might be worth asking about to see if any smaller organisations will be willing to support you.
Satellite broadband sounds in theory like a genuine alternative to cabled broadband services. Essentially, all you need is a dish that can point to the stars (well a satellite anyway) and you can get satellite broadband.
However, despite prices having come down in recent years there are still significant installation costs, restrictive data allowances, reports of poor performance including downtime and “lags” and in some instances indifferent customer service.
If you’re thinking of going down this route, do some research and talk to the provider about what guarantees they will give on your service.
Certainly broadband over mobile networks has become viable as an alternative to telephone lines, particularly with new faster networks like 4G.
However, the obvious problem with this as a solution for many rural households is that the mobile reception could be as poor as the broadband speeds.