A poor internet connection is a reality for hundreds of rural businesses and homeowners. The internet has become the fourth utility and is no longer a luxury or a nice to have, it is a necessity that should be available to everyone.
A strong internet connection means businesses can run smoothly from managing suppliers, ordering goods, staying connected to customers and keeping your website online. A business that offers a service, such as a glamping site or café, can lose thousands in revenue if they can’t manage bookings or market their business. Millions of pounds is spent on farming tech every year and the benefits of this tech will be lost if there isn’t strong enough connectivity to use this technology.
Unfortunately and unfairly, the benefits of the internet that so many people take for granted are an unreachable dream for many people who work rurally. This digital divide is penalising people who need connectivity to run their businesses yet the infrastructure hasn’t had the same investment as it has in more urban areas.
Only 52% of rural homes have access to a high-speed Internet connection and this is contributing to the rural economy being 16% less productive than the national average. By closing this productivity gap, £43bn could be added to the national GDP.
Why is rural broadband so slow?
There are various reasons why the countryside suffers with slower internet speeds and they invariably come down to cost, investments and infrastructure. Many providers find it is uneconomical to lay fibre in areas where a limited number of customers would pay for the service and the distance between properties in rural areas makes it more expensive to connect customers to faster broadband.
How to get faster broadband for your business
- If you need a connection with high service availability and high symmetric speeds going up to 1Gbps then a leased line might be the right choice for you. Leased lines mean better connectivity with faster uploads and downloads and you don’t share your bandwidth. The difference between a leased line and broadband is a leased line is a dedicated, uncontended connection between your premises and the local exchange which is only used by your business. Broadband isn’t a dedicated connection and is shared with other people.
- A cheaper alternative is using 4G/5G although your connection and speeds are not guaranteed. This option is quick and easy to install but is not overly reliable. Using 4G/5G to connect to the internet can leave you at risk from fake networks and hackers. This isn’t recommended as a standalone connectivity solution for a business, but it can be a good back up when a business struggles with a weak broadband connection.
- Load Balancing – this is where two or more ADSL or FFTC connections are connected to a dedicated load-balancing router. Load-balancing then routes internet traffic optimally across the two broadband connections. This doesn’t improve the speed but it does help resolve congestion.
Your Co-op Business Solutions are fully behind the CLA’s Rural Powerhouse campaign and know that people in our rural areas deserve more. Better broadband brings you more choices, more freedom and more ways to run businesses successfully. From a farm to a camp site to a café, businesses need connectivity to thrive and we are working hard to make sure everyone has access to the internet.
Speak to our business team today about connectivity for your business, from leased lines, mobile phones for 4G/5G hotspots and broadband options to suit your needs.
You can reach us on 01608 434 000 or email