What can I do about my broadband?

06 June 2023

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Struggling with access to broadband speeds to meet your business needs? Our expert team has put together a quick guide on alternative broadband options for areas impacted by poor broadband speeds. 

Your broadband supplier has an obligation

The USO (Universal Service Obligation) is a government pledge to give homes (which request it) a minimum broadband speed of at least 10 Mbps for no more than £46.10 per month. This is the speed determined by Ofcom to ensure that a family is not isolated due to a lack of access.

Service providers have an obligation to ensure this level of service if the project can be undertaken for less than £3,400 per household.

In rural areas, the cost often surpasses this. Communities are encouraged to ask for the broadband as a group to reduce the costs per household down to this threshold where possible. See the Openreach community scheme in the next section.

To find out if you are eligible for the USO, read more information from Ofcom and BT.

For remote premises where costs can be order of magnitude above £3,400, there are alternative broadband solutions which may be more appropriate than fibre.

Openreach – Community Fibre Partnerships

If you live in a community which is impacted by poor broadband speeds, then a community led programme might work.

Openreach have a programme where interested communities register their interest and together, Openreach will work with the community to install fibre broadband.

Openreach will contribute to some of the costs while the community covers the rest. Openreach will also advise on more localised funding streams that may be available in an area.

Find out more at: Openreach Fibre Community Partnership

Read the government's advice on forming a community group at: GOV.UK | Forming a local group

Alternative solutions

Mobile broadband

Where there is a decent mobile signal, this can be an easy and cheap to run alternative to an expensive fibre installation.

Mobile speeds can vary, but with the Shared Rural Network, 95% of the UK should have access to 4G by 2025 which will increase the reliability of mobile broadband.

Satellite broadband

This can be installed virtually anywhere with a clear line of sight to the sky. This makes it a good option for the most remote locations. However, this can be an expensive option and does not have the fastest speeds.

Cost is an important limitation, up to one million people in the UK cancelled their broadband last year because of the high costs of living.

Fixed wireless access

This provides connectivity through radio links distributed through a network of masts.

I it often provided by local providers, so it can be worth checking if there is a local rural specific provider in your areas.

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