Broadband news for people in the country

Folk living in rural areas might finally have some good news on the horizon for better broadband speeds. Two developments announced recently suggest that significant improvements will be seen relatively soon.

Church buildings might help WiFi and 4G signals

Firstly, the Church of England and various Government Departments have announced that the Church’s buildings could be used to enhance both WiFi and 4G signals.

Many church buildings are in rural communities and they are often situated centrally within these communities, combining this with the fact that they have towers or spires they make perfect locations to send out a signal. The other factor that helps is that they are in place, so there are no big costs associated with building towers or local planning hurdles to jump through.

4G services for rural users

The second exciting development for rural broadband is that EE, the mobile phone arm of BT, has announced a scheme to bring high speed 4G services to nearly 600,000 rural properties.

EE will attach a special box to a subscriber’s home and this ensures a strong, reliable connection to the network’s 4G services. This service is about double the price of a normal broadband connection but it could be a lifeline to farmers, children studying and small business owners.

It makes perfect sense for EE to offer this service to make extra revenue from the infrastructure it is building associated with rolling out the new Emergency Services Network, the service taking over from the old radio communications network for the police, fire and ambulance services. Currently the network covers 90% of the country and this will increase to 95% over the next couple of years.

So rural users should be better connected by one of the two schemes very soon. This is good news for those living out in the country and for the conservative party who have been under considerable pressure to roll out super fast broadband to everyone in the UK, not just those living in towns and cities.

Broadband – is it over when mobiles get 5G?

The SIM only MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) GiffGaff recently released a report suggesting that data usage will soar with the launch of 5G mobile phone services.

Their report suggested that users will be using up to 100GB of data via their mobile phones by 2025.

Massive increase in data usage

The vast majority of this massive increase in data usage will be driven by video streaming of films, sports events, programmes, face to face connectivity, tutorials, lectures, comedy shows, live music events etc.

Even if they are half right it represents a dramatic change in our habits compared to how we use our phones and gadgets nowadays. This is especially true given that current data usage per month is somewhere between 2 and 3GB.

Where does this leave fixed line broadband services? Will someone visiting your home still ask for the Wi-Fi code for their mobile phone or will they simply use their 5G handset which is likely to be faster and more efficient.

It is possible to envisage a scenario whereby people living in an area of good 5G coverage will simply not bother to set up a broadband service which will cost, at today’s prices, anywhere from £20 to £30 a month. They will use the connectivity of their mobile for all their needs.

Broadband shares drop

This might be something in the minds of the City, the share price of TalkTalk, the broadband specialist, has dropped dramatically over the last few years. As recently as Summer 2015 the price was over £4, at the time of writing today it is hovering around £1.10.

BroadBand companies look to be in for a tough ride over the next few years competing with high speed mobile phone connections.

In urban areas and areas of strong mobile coverage the need for a broadband connection will diminish and this is the core bread and butter markets for broadband companies, i.e. densely populated areas that can be serviced relatively easily.

Now it appears that they might be marginalised and have to fight each other over the more difficult rural areas to maintain market share let alone grow.

Here at Better Buy Insurance we are ready and waiting to insure your brand new 5G handsets as soon as they become available.

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