A policy proposal from the government is suggesting that people who live in rural areas of the country who cannot access high quality broadband services will be given vouchers to use with internet service providers.
BT are being blamed for a lack of service in the UK’s more rural areas, and the government is keen to spark innovation in the sector to try and bring up the standards in more rural locales. The idea is that people will pool their vouchers and invest in some of the more innovative providers who can install satellites that beam wifi around local areas.
Figures from Ofcom have revealed that almost a million properties in the UK’s rural areas still do not have sufficient quality broadband, and with the government’s target of every household reaching 10 mbps by 2020 there will need to be a drastic drive to improve quality if that is to be met. According to the government BT is not working quickly enough in rural areas for that to happen, and there needs to be spike in activity for it to become a reality.
The Prime Minister Theresa May, has previously floated the idea that money that is made from fracking activity in the UK could be put to use in this area.
BT have struggled to meet expectations in closing the gap in rural areas, and as they’re the monopoly player in the market, it is hard to fathom any other company that could feasibly improve the rural internet quality. Though BT are hardly the only one’s who have made technology difficult to access. Recently the UK’s 4g coverage data has also made for unpleasant reading, placing the UK at 54th place overall in 4g coverage. This places the country behind countries like Romania and Peru. It’s also thought that the government are intending to invest in this infrastructure as part of a package of measures designed to increase the UK’s capability in technology.
With all this talk of investment, those in rural areas must be relieved that at the very least their woes are being discussed, for too long good broadband and mobile coverage has been limited to the UK’s cities, and even being close to a major city is no guarantee of quality. Indeed it has been floated before that the mobile operators should have to guarantee a service, though there’s been no sign of this coming to fruition as yet, but those paying for poor signal will certainly keep their fingers crossed.
Joseph is a 34 year old freelance writer from London. He has a wide interest in politics and specialises in the subject. He's also a blog writer in his spare time.