Around 82% of the UK, use the internet daily – for emailing, banking and even reading newspapers. So, it’s safe to say that most of us are pretty dependent on the world-wide web, but not everyone has the luxury of superfast broadband – or even just fast broadband. It’s estimated that 1% of the country struggle to even get a basic speed of 2 Mbps, which isn’t quite as slow as dial-up but in this modern age – it might as well be; so, what’s being done about it?
In order to address the issue, the government announced in its Budget in March 2017, that £200 million has been set aside to get broadband into those hard to reach places – namely, the ‘countryside’. The money won’t be spent on bog standard superfast broadband though, instead, it’s going to be spent on hooking communities up with ‘ultrafast’ broadband. The government will also offer vouchers to help to subsidise any costs incurred by small businesses in rural areas when getting super-fast connections.
Ultrafast broadband will offer speeds between one and ten gigabits, which in non-tech speak basically just means it’s ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ fast. The government is hoping that public sector organisations such as schools and hospitals will come together and create a demand for broadband that would make it hard for providers to ignore. Local, rural communities would then be able to jump on the back of this to bring improved broadband services into their homes.
The government say they’re on track to get 95% of all UK premises online with superfast broadband. But that will still leave a further 5% (around 1.4 million homes) battling with slow connections. So, the multi-million-pound promise to improve connectivity is welcomed and will hopefully see even more households with access to decent broadband speeds.
But it wasn’t just broadband that the Budget focussed on – 5G technology got a £16 million look in too. The investment aims to turn the “UK [into] a world leader in the next wave of mobile technology and services” – in other words, it’s to sort out the dodgy reception we still get when we’re out and about.
So, it’s potentially good news if you’re stuck in the countryside with no mobile phone reception and internet speeds so slow that next year’s birthday will come around before that film downloads. But, in the meantime, make the most of what you’ve got and look at our best broadband and phone packages, by comparing the market right now…unless your page is still buffering that is…