Rural reality… broadband

Dial BroadbandWhen I lived in the city with 40Mb cable broadband I used to wonder what all the fuss was about when programmes cropped up from time to time moaning about the lack of internet speeds in the countryside.

Now I know why! It feels like we’ve gone back to the days of dial up internet at The Secret Acre. Basically you get 2Mb through the phone line, which all the commercial service providers of course claim is just enough for streaming. Sadly the independent regulator OfCom says you need 10Mb.

So I was interested in the Government’s announcement recently of a “universal service obligation” giving the public a legal right to get an “affordable” fast 24Mb broadband connection by 2020.

Of course OpenReach are already tasked with rolling out “super fast fibre” to 95% of the UK by 2017. In practise this means fibre to your nearest BT cabinet, which for most rural areas is useless, with miles of old slow phone lines still taking your internet from the cabinet to you.

According to the OpenReach ‘availability checker’ website, The Secret Acre, like most other part of the rural UK, is in an “Enabled area” meaning they just need to connect the fibre to the cabinet, which in other words actually means that whole area is actually very much un-enabled!

It will be interesting to see just how long it takes over the next 24 months for OpenReach to connect the cabinet before the 2017 deadline. But as we are about 2.5 miles from said cabinet I guess we’ll be lucky if our 2Mb internet reaches the dizzy heights of 4Mb!

Which brings us back to my coming “legal right” to 24Mb at an affordable price within the next four years, and who can I sue when it inevitably doesn’t happen?


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