Broadband Finds It Hard To Reach Rural Users – Causes Behind It
Why do rural residents have problems getting online using broadband? For those of us enjoying the benefits of a country lifestyle, it can sometimes seem terribly unfair that our broadband is either slow or non-existent. For many rural residents, it can feel like the whole world is part of a global cyber network that we can only occasionally dip into very slowly.
We All Need Broadband
Anyone who is trying to run a business from a rural area will have felt the sting when their competition can market themselves better online because they can simply access it more easily. Many people would like the opportunity to work from home in an online capacity, but are unable to due to a lack of broadband. For residents who just need the internet for personal use, it can be extremely frustrating to miss out on social networking, shopping or any of the many other benefits the internet brings. Many rural residents are now starting to feel that they are being denied economic and social growth due to a simple lack of broadband access. So what is the cause of these problems?
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What is Broadband?
First of all, what is broadband? Put simply, it is a high-bandwidth connection to the internet. It is a faster and easier method than the dial-up system which uses a phone line and a modem. Dial-up is not only slow, but also requires you to dial a special number every time you use the internet. Broadband means internet usage is uninterrupted by a telephone call. It usually involves a one-off monthly tariff with a set amount of usage. Broadband is generally delivered by cable or by ADSL.
Why Can’t I Get It?
You may have heard areas referred to as ‘not spots’ or ‘slow spots’. ‘Slow spots’ are where the connection is very slow and you are receiving under 2Mbps. Compare this speed to the 24Mbps which customers of high speed internet providers are receiving in many parts of the country. ‘Not spots’ are areas where broadband cannot be obtained at all and this affects a staggering 160,000 households in the UK.
As broadband is mostly delivered via cable or ADSL on a standard line, distance is an issue. The further you are from a densely populated area or the nearest telephone exchange, the less likely it will be that you can get broadband. The biggest problem is, of course, the small population density versus the cost of implementing the necessary equipment. In order for it to be financially viable for internet providers, it needs to be serving a sufficiently large amount of people.
Tied into the distance factor is the quality of the phone lines. Poor-quality lines which are damaged by water or corrosion can also be a reason rural residents cannot get broadband.
Will It Ever Change?
Thanks to a recent government initiative, it does seem that rural residents will start to see an improvement in the broadband they receive. The government is hoping to achieve Universal Connection by 2015, by which time the vast majority of houses in the UK will be able to obtain broadband.
The major reasons rural residents cannot get broadband today are distance from exchanges, small populations and cost. However, we are all hoping we can look forward to a future where every house in Britain can make use of the services of high speed internet providers.
About the Author:
Shirley Jones is a freelance content writer and she writes articles and blogs on high speed internet providers and other internet service related technologies.