Working in the countryside should be cheaper and more relaxing than being in the city. Right? If you are lucky this is the case but poor telecoms can add stress like nothing else!
If you have desperately slow (or even non-existent) broadband, zero phone coverage, and high costs for dedicated services what options for improving your situation, if any, do you have today?
Six years ago the government promised 95% of the country would have superfast broadband by 2017. 1.25 million homes (5%) would still miss out.
Some positive news is that many small fibre and Wimax providers offer speeds of up to 1Gb. As they’re pure fibre no landline is needed. Less positively their availability is severely restricted.
You can visit https://www.cable.co.uk/guides/rural-broadband/ to find out what you can get.
Dedicated lines are one option for businesses to guarantee speeds. The problem here is that pricing depends on distance. A small business in a remote location recently found the best quote for a 10mb circuit was £1,000 per month.
The Government has announced some planned help for businesses in the countryside, however, we are still waiting for the full details.
You can check the coverage of all the networks using their online checkers. It’s worth doing this as each has weaker/stronger areas. Again, it is claimed there is 95% coverage – leaving more than 1.25million premises with none.
If Ofcom and the Government insisted that networks provide free roaming in the UK they could improve rural coverage. The networks are resisting this move which is particularly frustrating as we’ll have free roaming in Europe from 1st July.
If the coverage maps say you should get indoor service and you aren’t, push your provider and tell them you are leaving as they are not meeting their commitments. At least you should get a free booster to improve your situation.
Even where it means extra costs to suppliers BT and Kingston Communications (Hull) are legally required to install lines at standard pricing. The downside is this: costs up to £3,400 for phone lines and £1,000 for ISDN2 connections excluding VAT are free – the remaining costs have to be paid by the customer.
Imagine how stressed a client was as she planned her relocation. The building was only 1.6 kilometres away from a BT cabinet, so close enough to connect to fibre broadband. The stress factor was the BT quote of £20,000. £3,400 is a small contribution to this. Not surprisingly our client opted to use satellite and rely on the mobile signal. Luckily satellite broadband costs have reduced to less than £100 per month.
As you can see in some locations it’s unlikely you’ll get the telecoms you want in the immediate future. But you must keep checking your options for both fibre broadband and mobile (using the coverage maps). The postcode lottery will work in your favour one day.