Dispelling the myth of 'superfast' broadband

Ofcom recently launched its latest research into UK residential fixed broadband connections, claiming that one in four UK residential fixed broadband connections is “superfast”.

However, Ofcom also admits that the benefits are not shared evenly across the UK, with many people with slow or even no available broadband connection.

Indeed, the UK broadband coverage scene is a frustrating one, and full of broken promises from the major players. BT’s proud boast that they serve 70% of the population ignores the fact that those 70% are in only 30% of the UK Geography. Meanwhile the government has indicated that superfast broadband coverage is a top priority and is continuing to pour a great deal of tax-payers’ money into making that happen.

As such, there are numerous initiatives across the country right now, but essentially the big players like BT are taking the huge amounts of government funding and simply doing nothing with it until the local councils have done their research for them to establish where there is demand. Surely, that is what they are being funded to carry out.

Ofcom’s Chief Executive, Ed Richards, commented that there is more work needed to deliver wider availability of broadband and superfast broadband, particularly in rural communities, but also in some locations within cities to enable wider access to fast internet. As Advanced Television points out, in rural areas there is limited availability of superfast broadband and ADSL services are generally slower in those areas due to the longer distance to the telephone exchange.

We are working with a number of councils and customers across the UK who have been told they must wait until at least 2016 to get any chance of a superfast service. Believe it or not, those are the councils which are high up in BT’s priority list, so for those at the bottom, there is an even longer wait in store.

Frustrated and unable to wait that long to get the service they need, we are working with them to get the service they need using satellite broadband. What many people don’t realize is that satellite broadband is no longer a costly unwieldy solution for those with deep pockets.

Technology has moved on a great deal and actually it can achieve speeds of up to 45Mbit/s for a cost easily comparable to standard broadband services. The dishes no longer turn your house or business premise into something resembling an airport and if you choose wisely, there are intelligent systems which automatically point, ensuring accurate signals without the need for the user to have a masters in satellite engineering!

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