Living in rural area is not always fun. Yes, houses are bigger and you have more space. And a dog. In this respect it is better to live outside of urban areas and rush hours. And yet, when it comes to technology, rural dwellers are somewhat at a loss. Especially with broadband. Fibre rollouts are notoriously slow and people have to wait for years despite governments announcing winning strategies. It’s not about strategies though. It’s about money. Further you live from highly populated areas less money will be spent to connect you. After all, big broadband providers want to make money and connecting few houses here and there brings no money. Whatever they say.
If you live in a really rural area it is quite likely you are still connected to old copper lines that were outdated as soon as they were put there. Yes, they are ok for making calls, but that’s all. Connecting to the Web is a completely different matter. Old lines may be ok for sending and receiving emails, as long as the attachments are not too big but watching your favourite Netflix series is a different story. Story that requires better options. Let’s dive into the very important question of how to improve broadband speed in rural areas.
It may seem surprising but sometimes that better option is just a call away. Thousands upon thousands of rural customers are unaware of the fact they can upgrade their service and get something better. If they only called their broadband provider. Instead, they keep paying for unusable service.
Still, something there is nothing available. What to do then? Look for an alternative broadband provider! There are other options! 4G comes to mind immediately. There is a plethora of options for 4G broadband in the UK. Well, maybe not plethora but quite a lot. Vodafone, O2, EE, they all offer something.
Rural broadband solutions
Even better, look for small providers specializing in rural broadband! They often have contracts with the big ones but the difference is they know rural needs. And they may have more than one option available. So, think about it. If you call say Vodafone, they will offer you just their service. Good or bad. If you don’t think it’s going to work you have to call another mobile broadband provider. And another. Why? You will be better off calling someone who makes supplying you a living. That supplier will have usually more than one option so you save time and knows more about rural challenges, that’s another benefit for you!
What else? Satellite broadband is there as well. Some areas of UK are notorious for lack of any options, and this is where satellite broadband may come handy. Satellite is located high above the equator, so it covers bigger areas. Meaning satellite is not dependent on mobile masts or cables. You can get satellite internet nearly anywhere.
There are limitations though. As it’s a geostationary orbit the latency will be significant. Some applications may not work, most importantly some of VPNs (if you work from home it may be a problem). Also, game consoles are usually not compatible with satellite internet.
On the other side, satellite internet is no longer what it used to be, meaning slow and costly. It’s now much better with fixed costs and high speeds rivaling fibre. Most plans available now are unlimited but with priority data what amounts to slower speeds at certain times. Still, it’s worth considering.
How else can you improve broadband speeds in rural areas?
Well, whatever option you go with, very often it’s not enough. Especially if you compare with what people get in the city. But what do they know? In London or Birmingham, they can pick whatever they want. You can’t. Unfortunately.
What you can do is to look how you use your internet. By default many of your applications are set to best settings. Look at Netflix, do you really need high definition? If you change it to SD you can still enjoy it, and use less data. The same with You Tube. And many others.
If you have satellite broadband, have a look at small print. Some satellite broadband providers offer special treatment at certain off-peak times when you can download as much as you want without affecting your priority data. It’s usually at night but you can do your downloads then! And watch later!
Also, check what your applications do and manage it properly. Most applications need to update and annoyingly they do it when they want. And they may use a lot of data for this. So, taking previous example of satellite connection, set it up to off-peak hours!
These simple tricks should help you enjoy better service!