Broadband in rural areas

Broadband in rural areas

If you live in a rural area you may still find that your broadband speeds are achingly slow. Find out why and get a few solutions in our guide to broadband in the countryside. 

Rohit Makol From the Broadband team
2
minute read
posted

Why are broadband speeds slower in rural areas?

It’s partly because of infrastructure – the roll-out of fibre optic cable has been slower in rural areas than urban ones. It’s also partly because rural homes are likely to be some distance from street cabinets and telephone exchanges. Broadband speed deteriorates the further it has to travel along a copper wire, and as this can be several miles in rural areas broadband speeds are often a fraction of those quoted. 

Why are broadband speeds slower in rural areas?

What are the alternatives to cable and fibre broadband?

There are a couple of alternatives, but they both have drawbacks.

Mobile broadband: broadband over mobile networks can be a viable alternative to phone lines, particularly with new faster networks like 4G. However, the problem with this for many rural households is you need a strong mobile signal and the download speeds can be low.

Satellite broadband: all you need for this is a dish that can point towards a satellite. 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.

Is there anything else I can do to get faster broadband?

You may be able to get together with other people in your area to lobby for faster broadband services. The Rural Broadband Partnership can help you find out whether there’s a project in your area and if there isn’t, they can help you start your own community group. Find more information on community broadband projects on their website.

Is there anything else I can do to get faster broadband?

You can also:

  • Register your interest in 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.
  • Start a local petition: if other people in your community are as frustrated as you, then they might have already begun this process, so find out and add your name.
  • Fund faster broadband with your neighbours: it’s been known for local communities or entire villages to club together to pay for the installation of fibre broadband. If you have like-minded neighbours, this could work.
  • Ask a private company to install a local network. You’ll need to be prepared to pay more by choosing this route, but it may be worth it to you.
  • Reach out to a smaller supplier: sometimes companies will get a special grant for rural broadband roll-out. Ask about to see if any smaller organisations will be willing to support you.

Compare broadband deals

Although broadband provider options are usually more limited in rural areas, it’s still worth checking to see what’s available to you. 

We’ve made it really simple with our broadband comparison service. Just tell us where your postcode and we’ll show you a list of available deals and you can choose the best one for you.

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