Not covered by the Wiltshire Online programme?
If your premises do not fall within the current Wiltshire Online plans for receiving fibre broadband, there are several options that you could consider. Whilst each has its own pros and cons, these alternative solutions could help provide significant improvements in speed for people on slow and possibly unreliable broadband.
Practical Tips for Improving Your Broadband Speeds
It may be that you can improve your existing broadband speed without having to resort to alternative solutions. Ofcom has put together a handy guide which can be found here.
Fixed Wireless Access Broadband
Instead of using a land line, fixed wireless broadband connects to the internet using high frequency radio transmissions. Wireless technology transmits across the countryside using line-of-sight radio signals. To be able to access a wireless broadband, your premises will need to have transceiver equipment fitted to bring the signal into the premises: this is typically a small antenna.
Examples of some Fixed Wireless Broadband suppliers:
Mobile Broadband (3G/4G)
Wiltshire has seen recent improvements in mobile coverage, particularly 4G, which can provide superfast broadband services to many locations beyond the superfast fibre footprint. You can check the current availability of 4G broadband services using the Ofcom mobile coverage checker.
Examples of some Mobile Broadband suppliers:
Instead of using a land line, satellite broadband is similar to how satellite TV works in that it uses a small dish on the property that receives information and transfers it via a cable to a modem. A satellite broadband connection is available virtually anywhere and can now provide superfast download speeds of up to 40Mbps.
Satellite technology has improved over recent years and whilst it has restrictions, it’s perfectly adequate for general internet use such as browsing web pages and sending emails.
Examples of some Satellite Broadband suppliers:
Satellite and Mobile Broadband
Please note that both satellite and mobile services tend to have a monthly download limit. Some satellite services do allow unlimited overnight downloads.
You should seek professional advice (e.g. from your IT provider) to check that all the services you plan to use are compatible with a satellite or mobile connection and whether any reconfiguration is required for things like your network, router and email set-up. Carefully consider your expected use before signing a contract for a satellite or mobile service.
Privately Funded Fibre Solution
Check out Openreach’s Community Fibre Partnership, which will enable communities to fund a fibre based superfast broadband solution. The team at Openreach will provide you with a quote using the most appropriate fibre technology for your area.
Government has also written an Introduction to Community Led Schemes which can be found here.
Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme
Gigabit vouchers can be used by small businesses and the local communities surrounding them to contribute to the installation cost of a gigabit-capable connection. Businesses can claim up to £3,500 against the cost of connection either individually or as part of a group project. Residents can benefit from the scheme with a voucher worth £1,500 (plus VAT) as part of a group project. Details are available at gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk
Universal Service Obligation (USO)
The broadband universal service obligation (USO) is a central government policy commitment, which will give people in the UK the right to request a decent broadband connection. Under the USO, eligible homes and businesses will be able to request a connection, where the cost of building it is no more than £3,400.
Further information will be made available by central Government as they progress with the legislation, however the latest guidance from the national telecoms regulator Ofcom, is that they will finally consult on an agreed funding approach, after which the Universal Service Obligation (USO) will be delivered by ISPs BT and KCOM once it is introduced in late March 2020.
Further information and the latest updates on the progression of this scheme, can be found on the Ofcom website here.