Woeful rural broadband in the UK is leaving vast swathes of country behind, can 4G provide a solution?
Cripplingly slow, not even able to send an email and impossible to use are just three ways Computeractive readers have described their broadband connections.
Nice view, rubbish broadband.
Rural broadband speeds in the UK continue to be a big problem. While our biggest cities see huge increases in speeds, people living in rural Cornwall and Cumbria are being left further behind.
The cost of getting such small, isolated communities up to speed is one that seemingly nobody is willing meet. But can 4G provide the answer?
Tests are currently underway to see how effectively 4G can be used in rural areas - particularly parts of Cornwall and Cumbria. With theoretical speeds of around 30Mbps, 4G is faster than most home broadband connections and there are hopes that it can be used to get rural communities better connected.
O2 and Everything Everywhere both conducted trials of 4G in Cornwall earlier this year, with the latter currently trialling 4G in rural Cumbria.
The technology works by taking a 4G connection and then sending it down a fixed line. By pulling 4G out of the air and turning it into a home broadband connection, it should be possible to bring much faster speeds to some of the UK's most remote communities.
David Salam, head of network strategy and architecture at Everything Everywhere is optimistic about the potential to connect more people using the technology:
"We had a trial last year in Cornwall to use 4G for a fixed line broadband service and there are great benefits."
"I believe it can connect the final few per cent; we will provide rural coverage off the back of our 4G service."
EE said it planned to cover 98 per cent of the UK by the end of 2014 and with other networks able to launch 4G services by early 2013, coverage should soon be widespread.
So, can we finally get high-speed broadband to rural communities in the UK?
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