/ Technology

Your universal right to broadband, even in rural areas

Broadband on country lane

Are you in a rural area still waiting for decent broadband? You may be in luck. The Government has announced plans to put broadband access on a similar footing to essential services, like water and electricity.

The Government plans to introduce a new universal service obligation for broadband. This’ll give you the legal right to request an ‘affordable’ connection to broadband with speeds of at least 10Mbps. And that’s no matter where you live.

So if you’re in one of the unlucky two million homes that doesn’t have access to the net, you’ll be able to demand a decent broadband connection.

At the announcement, Prime Minister David Cameron said:

‘Access to the internet shouldn’t be a luxury; it should be a right – absolutely fundamental to life in 21st century Britain. That is why I’m announcing a giant leap in my digital mission for Britain.

‘Just as our forebears effectively brought gas, electricity and water to all, we’re going to bring fast broadband to every home and business that wants it.’

Broadband speeds in rural areas

It’s a big claim and one that should be good news for Which? Convo commenter David Mitchell, who told us last week:

‘I live in rural Suffolk and have struggled for years with a broadband download speed of around 1mbs. Upload sometimes dwindled to Zero. The county council has a contract with BT to upgrade this ‘uneconomic’ area with the help of government cash but progress is glacially slow and the latest timetable is for us to get a speed of 2mbps by the end of 2017.’

We’ll be keeping an eye out for more news on the universal service obligation and what it will mean for people without access. There will also no doubt be questions about the cost of reaching 10mbps countrywide and who will pay. Whatever the case, it will be important that the cost is transparent and doesn’t spiral out of control.


Are you struggling to get speeds anywhere close to 10Mbps? Are you pleased to see the Government take this issue seriously? As soon as we know more about when you’ll be able to exercise your new rights, we’ll let you know.

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Comments

I have a feeling the weasel word “affordable” will be a debating point. Even where people already have access to a 10Mbps broadband service they can’t necessarily take advantage of it because the accompanying tariff is too expensive.

Nice to see someone awake and taking notice, prices in my rural area for this fast broadband is standing at £20: 00 a month with line rental it goes up to £36:00 a month, it will probably top the £40:00 mark by the time it gets here. As BT can not maintain a reasonable telephone service here it would not surprise me if the end cost per month got to £50:00. I would be happy with the speeds on the advert at the time I signed up for broadband. Current speed at best around 3 . 20 Mbps some days zero.

Seems a odd promise. What about people who are very remote? Will we pay lots of money to lay fibre or will there be some reliance on wireless? Broadband is not as essential as gas or electricity. Some don’t have gas – will that be a universal right in future?
“Affordable” might be like housing – depending where you live it might well be affordable to some, but not to many..

I noticed that only water and electricity were described as essential services in the Intro, although the Prime Minister mentioned gas as if it were universally available.

I think wireless distribution will have to be employed in many remote locations, all cross-subsidised by city dwellers mainly.

Gas is not essential because oil and lpg are alternatives, even if they cost more. It is generally agreed that it would be prohibitively expensive to provide mains gas in very remote areas.

As someone who has enjoyed internet access since 1990 I agree with the PM that everyone should have it. I would be interested to know about the cost and practicality of satellite broadband as an alternative to conventional broadband services. No-one should be denied the opportunity to participate in Which? Conversation. 🙂

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I don’t suppose this will all fall to BT to deliver. The Universal Service Obligation will apply to any company that is licensed by Ofcom to provide broadband services to residential and business customers. I don’t think there is any question of government subsidy to BT or anyone else. There will have to be a lot more cooperation between service providers than hitherto to avoid duplication or gaps in provision but that is a good thing. Ofcom will have to work harder to bring this about too. I have more confidence in Sharon White, Ofcom’s recently appointed CEO, than I had in the previous regime.

When travelling on the continent I have been amazed at the progress made in getting broadband into some remote and inaccessible places in many of the countries with far smaller economies than the UK and much more difficult terrain, so I don’t think the PM’s proposal is unrealistic or over-ambitious.

It is my experience that those who new what British Telecom was like before it was sold off are quite impressed by its general performance over the subsequent period. I certainly have no complaints.

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Yes Duncan, but isn’t that what the PM has said the Universal Service Obligation will now address? It will mean, I assume [and I can only read the label on the tin – I cannot see what’s inside the tin], that every licensed telecoms service provider will be under an obligation to ensure that all customers are within affordable reach of a 10 Mbps broadband service. It won’t be a matter of what their shareholders want or not – they will have to do it. Now that the vast bulk of the country is on-line and the basic infrastructure is in place money is flowing like water into the companies’ accounts and multi-platform operators like BT can find various ways of meeting the Obligation. There are tax allowances for capital investment so the companies are also under a financial incentive to get on with it. That is a form of government subsidy if you like.

When I was referring to countries that have expanded their networks rapidly I was considering the technical difficulties that are always put up in the UK these days as reasons for not doing things. It really can’t be that difficult and using the USO to achieve it seems to me to be a good way forward. I wasn’t thinking of Scandinavia or the Netherlands when talking about the rapid advance of technological development but some of the countries in eastern Europe.

We will have to wait until we learn what is meant by ‘affordable’. I suspect we will see fewer ‘unlimited’ packages. Charging heavy users more is a fair, albeit unpopular, way of increasing income and could help subsidise universal provision of broadband.

Melvyn Johnson says:
17 November 2015

Being a Pensioner, the cost is getting stupid. we have to be on the net to survive ,acording to the goverment. But the cost is getting worse, we pay for the Broad band and phone line rental. we dont use the phone or the Television, beiing it is free view. but we still have to pay £45 per month for the broad band. so i say thank you government for forcing the pensioners these sort of costs

Totally agree. What I would like to see would be more co-operative schemes in rural areas to get fibre laid with government grant aided support – get more of a push up than just a pressure down.

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JMills says:
17 November 2015

I agree with your point on shareholders but on “BT is doing a grand job” I wholeheartedly disagree. I have seen nothing but incompetence, extreme waste of funds and appalling treatment of their employees. BT / BT Open reach is about as big a scandal as VW emissions, its just that no one is prepared to blow the whistle.

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Simon says:
17 November 2015

Who are you kidding Duncan? BT have the monopoly on the exchanges and our phone lines and have caused us so many problems that we have had to have broadband beamed into our village at our cost. Before we got 500kbps. It was like dial up. And we paid the same for that as those getting over 10Mbps. And we live in Cambridgeshire, not on the Outer Hebrides, although we feel for them, too!

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Duncan, I think you make some good points, although I am having difficulty understanding some of what you have written. Do you have time to correct some of the errors – grammar, punctuation, etc. – so that I and others are able to derive full benefit from your post? Regards, JL

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@wavechange If gas isn’t essential, how about sewage? Out here in the wilds of Dorset, we don’t have mains sewerage. We all have to process our own … in various ways. And pay for the equipment in full, with no help from Government. Usually several thousands of pounds per installation, plus annual service charges and maintenance. True, we don’t pay the sewerage charge to the water company, but it doesn’t come near to covering the cost.

Regarding broadband, we’re *finally* about to get FTTC (tomorrow in my case). If we’re lucky, we might hit the dizzy heights of 15mbps (1.24 mbps on ADSL today), but the real killer is the ‘final mile’ (or miles) of poor quality copper between us and the local fibre-enabled cabinet. Which BT Openreach always say is far too expensive to replace.

Satellite broad band works, but the latency is poor. Local wireless broadband is far better, but you must have absolutely clear line-of-sight to the transmitter. No trees or anything in the way. In our case we have a local transmitter which could give us 30mbps, but a small wood/plantation between it and us renders it useless.

Hi gladtobegrey – Rural Dorset is a little more inviting to the centre of London, even though London may offer cheaper sewage disposal and broadband speeds that you and I can only dream about. Having spent numerous holidays living off-grid I am well aware of some of the extra costs and practicalities of not being in a populated area.

Best of luck with the broadband and I hope it works out better than you are expecting.

Whilst I agree with Wavechange’s sage observation regarding the universality of W? Conversations I’m mildly curious about what constitutes ‘essential’ in service terms. From my perspective, living in the mountains of Snowdonia and having been a mountaineer for many years, the only two things I regard as ‘essential’ are a waterproof cover and water. Everything else you can work around.

Yes – you need warmth, I agree, but there are many ways you can achieve that. You need to stay dry if you can, because – with the UK’s typical winter weather – hypothermia is a real risk, and you can die rather quickly if you don’t have a waterproof sanctuary. But the one thing you need all the time is clean drinking water.

Everything else is optional and when you’re attempting to survive, Broadband comes a long way down the list. Some farms around here are still operating from generators, too, if they’re not still using LPG as a light/heat source.

Ironically, however, we’re shortly supposed to be getting Superfast BB, and we already enjoy a standard download speed of 8mbs. which rarely drops. That’s because of two factors: although we live in a remote location, there’s a cabinet only fifty feet away. The second reason is that the population around here is sparse (to put it mildly) so the main telephone line from the exchange has almost no one else on it between ourselves and the exchange, some three miles away. But a couple of years ago, when the cattle markets were closed owing to a suspected Foot and Mouth case, farmers conducted auctions on the internet and for an auction you do need fairly nippy broadband. Would they have coped without it? Probably, because they’ve had to in the past, but we’re becoming used to the difference Skype has made to our lives, and we’re taking near-instantaneous visual communication for granted, so it might be possible to argue that, in the future, Superfast Broadband could become an indispensable aspect of life. But I’m not sure we’ve reached that point yet.

Of course it is possible to survive without internet access but it can have a serious impact on lives. A friend has a 600 acre farm that is less than 10 miles from a sizeable town. Until a couple of years ago he was still using dial-up because broadband was not available and could not cope with email attachments with papers for the meetings we both attended. At the time he was county chairman of NFU and doing that job was difficult because of very limited internet access. He is now very happy to have broadband, albeit at a speed that most of us would complain about.

People and businesses in remote locations have lived with lack of adequate broadband for a long time, and no doubt have either made that choice or learned how to cope with it. It is a great convenience and asset, no question, but not essential to life. In the scheme of things there are greater priorities – ensuring the NHS is properly funded, there is adequate housing for the vulnerable, people in need are properly fed, old people are cared for…… the list goes on. Where is broadband on this list? Not at the top in my book.

What worries me is affordable – it suggests whatever it costs to supply we won’t recover that in charges, so we’ll be subsidising from the limited fund that could be helping more deserving causes. If broadband helps a business to operate more profitably then they can afford to pay the going rate. 🙂

I expect that the companies can afford the costs, even if it means lower dividends for the shareholders and less for the directors.

Of course we need to tackle the important issues you mention but that needs more public expenditure and higher taxation for those who can afford to pay.

Profits will be maintained, so if it doesn’t come from public funds it means subscribers will pay more. Another form of subsidy.

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I don’t think the intention is for any public money to be spent on completion of the high speed broadband network. It will be an obligation placed on telecom companies that they will recover through their customer tariffs and through carrier charges where they are carrying the traffic of other service providers. At least that’s what it looks like to me.

Notice that it’s a ‘demand based’ obligation. There won’t be fibres through the glens until someone rings up and asks for it.

According to this document, published in 2013, the government was planning to invest in broadband and mobile services: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/broadband-delivery-uk

Hopefully most of the investment will be from the private sector. I don’t expect that we will see fast broadband in the most remote areas in the near future.

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Ofcom licenses telecom service providers. It can include all sorts of obligations and requirements in the licence terms and conditions. The obligation isn’t to recover the cost through their tariffs, but realistically that is the main place where the money can come from, the other being installation and service set-up charges. This is nothing new and does not require fresh legislation. The same principle applies to energy companies, train operators, utility companies and any other service providers regulated by the government. The purpose is to ensure conformity with national public service standards, to enable markets to work competitively, to secure universality of provision, and to achieve various social, economic and technological objectives. If any shareholders were unhappy about this they would sell their shares and invest elsewhere. The resilient value of technology and utility stocks shows that this is a popular form of investment. I personally am not familiar with the term “neo-con”; I thought the PM was a full-blown Conservative but I don’t see him as being in the mould of Stalin who was a totalitarian dictator who condemned whole populations to die through enforced starvation and other cruel means.

How, exactly is that demand measured. I recently spent time asking my provider (not BT) andOfcom but did not manage to get an answer.

I live within the M25 and the best download is 11.69Mbps and Upload 0.46Mbps and that’s with a following wind… How can they improve the speed when still using copper cable, they have no chance it’s all hype they have no chance to deliver what they promise unless you live next to the exchange

Debbie G says:
10 November 2015

Whilst people are correct in saying that broadband is not an absolute essential in order to live, it is rapidly creeping up the list. Lack of it is also another way in which those in poverty or who are disabled, elderly or housebound are penalised. To give several examples: it is almost impossible to apply for a job without internet access now. Unless you have a library nearby (and transport to get there) you’re at a disadvantage. Shopping around for essentials is cheaper if you have access to the internet. Repeat prescriptions from your doctor or pharmacy can be ordered so you can get them delivered to your home. Online banking, now most towns don’t have any branches open. Paying bills now many post boxes have been removed. And, of course, it is a huge barrier to setting up a new business if you can’t get online, thus concentrating much-needed jobs away from more rural areas and into built-up ones. Children need the internet to do their homework nowadays, too. I agree that the priorities are, of course, food, clothing and warmth, but internet access is increasingly crucial for many things, particularly if transport is an issue.

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Debbie G says:
11 November 2015

Now that, Duncan, I don’t have an answer to, I’m afraid. Whatever way it is managed it will mean costs passed on to the consumer in some way, you can guarantee. I’m very lucky in that I live in a town with excellent broadband and I can afford it. I am concerned that people are being pushed out of the loop by costs (if you can get it, the lowest cost broadband is about £30 a month, as you have to have a landline) and the assumption by many companies that everyone is online – sometimes that’s the only way to contact them. I don’t know what the answer is, I freely admit.

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I think you have made a very valid point Debbie. Those outside the net are at a distinct disadvantage in so many ways. It has been worrying me for some time that many active computer-literate people, as they get older, might find it impossible to do things on-line that they were used to doing or they might not wish to do them any more. This might be caused by declining physical or mental capacity or it might be because the advancing technology of the internet leaves them behind. The cost of running a home computer rarely gets a mention but allowing for broadband charges, ISP fees, stationery and supplies, electricity, and maintenance and replacement of hardware it is a considerable sum every year. Certainly in terms of prices for goods and services, the lack of internet access can be critical since so many offers and best prices are only available on-line and there are penalties for not managing accounts and billing on-line even for essential services like energy.

Essential services like water, sewerage, and electricity are provided by private companies at their customers’ expense. It is inevitable that internet access will be treated the same. In the case of energy the government goes further and imposes levies on the companies to fund service developments and these levies then appear as additions to consumers’ bills which – adding insult to injury – are then taxed at 5%.

I have said before that I live out in the sticks but nothing like Snowdonia. I live in an area full of Dairy and arable farming and it could not be deemed as remote because of lack of population.
I can regularly click to open an email and go put water in the kettle, switch it on and come back to see the mail open. I can take this laptop with us as does many in our motorhome and have much better and faster connection on site wifi.
I pay as does my neighbours the same amount for this service as do others.
The line up our lane is now around 25 years old I think according to wifey.
The line up the road is older
The line further down the main road is older again
So debates about fibre are somewhat out of context for some
I visit places in many rural parts of the UK that could not be termed as remote or with a low population yet despite our Gov policies about broadband many 1000s sit on this forlorn slow connection that is not much better than dial up.
One can complain. One can try other providers and the tune remains the same. Slow to stopped
So if we are paying for a service and the provider clearly states the type of service and suggests a certain speed then that should be the case for everyone.
If they wish to provide me with a more down to earth claim and a reduced bill each month for this terrible service then I might just could pallet this.
It’s just not as simple as yet again rolling out fibre for rural folks its about what and why we have already been charged for a broadband service I could easily claim I never got.
The Gov still wants to tax me for where I live the same as others
I have no street lighting but I seem to be paying for it
I have no mains water
I have no mains gas
We have to have 2 cars at all times because I take care of my 87yr old father otherwise no one could work.
So yes bring on fibre but the Gov shouldnt have to pay for it.
The service providers have been cherry picking for years and each step of the way they move in on the densely populated areas and make a killing but we in rural Britain are paying exactly the same money for a fraction of the service.
Mobile phones are the same. Go check out monthly costs in India. Everyone in India has a mobile and reception is pretty good too but the monthly charge? Wow.
Every which way we turn everything is worked out to empty our pockets at every turn and this internet that we have all come to use is yet another.
So no I dont think its and essential as in water and electric. Indecently we had to do without electric until 95 because the utility wanted £23,000ukp to get us 3 poles and a transformer. We sat in the middle of electrification for over 30 years. And the excuse. We didnt know you were there and the electrification policy has ended. Sorry Sir. I got brought up without electric and my eldest was 7 I think before we kinda won the battle. Kinda because they still had to get £2000 to get us a wire. Compared to the previous price of 1988 it looked like a token gesture but they made the mistake not I. We told them back in the early 60s and they more or less ignored my Dad because if they could they would save money.
So as to Gov policy, there’s nothing new about rolling out something like electric or broadband and many missing out or not receiving it in effect and fibre will be the same.
As to Mr Cameron’s comment about gas. Thats a real joke. There will be loads of the UK that’ll never have mains gas and is there any subsidy for using fuels twice the price. Not a chance.
David Cameron, on yer bike mate and see if you can find the real world. Thats the one were we dont get what pay for but we pay all the taxes the same as everyone else.
Thats my rant for the day but its not without cause or truth.

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I already know my son used a mifisky and a directional aerial and I have clear line of sight to the end of the road and and most certainly well beyond as I can pick up too many signals to be just the end of the road. Using software that is as one might say dubious I can get access to better speed than I have with a wire. So the wireless obviously gets me to several modems a lot closer to an exchange than I am.
Also your assumption about me being in Scotland is not correct. I frequented it and the Islands (South Uist in particular) regular while working and still regular as of now as we have relations I like in Ross-shire but find myself stuck in a less favourable place although still within the UK.
If I had the choice I’d be there tomorrow for many reasons not least because so much of my heritage is there. Every surname in every leg of the family reads like a who’s who of Scotland. Maybe I’ll get my dream but just now I find myself stuck with my elderly father who’s wish it is to remain here.
Anyhow thanks for your thoughts and I’m open to ideas. I might even stretch it a little because we have a camper/motorhome and the site wifi can be expensive now and again so a mobile type device might also do.
I am assuming that most sim card devices can have a better antenna than a dongle.
My son done the testing with the directional aerial so I know that wifi can be grabbed from quiet a distance but it’s not my own and whether legal or not I dont like to use/borrow something someone else paid for.
I’m no expert in this front so have to rely on suggestions. If you want further info just ask.
Again thank you
Dee

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My brother lives in rural France and gets his broadband via a parabolic dish and a friendly neighbour about 6Km away.

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Around a decade ago I actually worked in a small firm and part of its business was providing Broadband by line of sight from a mast on the top of the office. It certainly worked and we were even contacted by the Welsh government on the technical and cost implications. It was not expensive.

Just as an aside and looking at this French data : ” The increasing number of screens and connected devices per household (4 screens in 2009; 6.5 screens in 2014, 13 screens expected in 2022) is an undeniable fact. Orange plans to respond to the high expectations of individuals, professionals and businesses by increasing investment and accelerating the deployment of fibre both in homes and offices.”

I am left wondering about the capacity requirements for this usage [if true] and whether people should be paying for high bandwidth pulls like YouTube , Netflix etc. Seems to me that there are freeloaders on the system whilst others can barely get anything.

There is also an arms race in glitzier and glitzier sites that require more bandwidth. I was speaking to a member a few days ago who told me the Which? site could not be reliably be brought up when he was visiting a friend in rural Herefordshire. All other sites were fine so he was slightly embarrassed. Is there a need, or will there be a need , for all “official” websites to be able to provide low bandwidth text heavy service that can be accessed by tethered smartphones to avoid the average £30 a month BB charges?

I agree that there should be a relationship between usage and cost.

I’m not aware that the Which? site is particularly demanding, and when using Which? Conversation on a tethered connection I set the screen to refresh automatically to prevent the connection timing out.

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Speed is not just an issue in rural areas.
A street of 40 houses, with less than 3mb. Not out in the sticks at all, this is Maidenhead, in the silicon valley of the UK, the Thames Valley.
Every house for miles around (including neighbors I can see from my window) has access to superfast.
Why not us? We happen to be on the same cabinet as a business park & I suspect BT don’t want to lose revenue from expensive business products! They are leaving consumers and businesses in the cold and are profiteering, something needs to be done!

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I live in the New Forest but
although my local school has High Speed Broadband, thanks to the Government , my speed averages 0.60mbs download, and forget upload! It’s a disgrace BT refuse to “tap off” the school.s line coming in from the maxi road.

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Tim Johnson says:
14 November 2015

Something missing here – who will we be able to demand 10Mbps service from? BT? The Government? The local council? The Milk Marketing Board? It will make quite a difference to how and when we actually get it.

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This will not be about the government’s promise or BT’s moral obligations or what their shareholders want. And private versus public ownership is not the issue – BT could have been taken over by an oriental telecom company between now and 2020 [unless the government still has its ‘golden share’].

BT [through Openreach] and any other broadband service provider will be required under their Universal Service Obligation to provide affordable access to a 10 Mbps broadband service by 2020. Ofcom is responsible for ensuring delivery of and compliance with the USO. So if the relevant company has failed to install – or appear to be about to fail in the time available – Ofcom need to be informed so that they can enforce the obligation.

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Duncan, the obligation will be on the licensed service providers to provide the service at whatever the expense. The cost of so doing will be recoverable across their subscriber base by the companies concerned. In most cases I expect that Openreach will install the physical infrastructure and charge the network for using it. Since the USO goes with the licence, in applying for the licence the companies will be accepting the obligation. Force doesn’t come into it.

The installation of a high-speed broadband connexion is not necessarily an uneconomical activity. Not only will the network acquire remunerative traffic from the property supplied [which might be an expanding business] but will attract new traffic in the reverse direction. The average cost of a new high-speed broadband connexion will not rise much and, remember, this is a demand-led policy so there will be no need to install fibre or microwave links if no one is asking for it.

On the question of going against the shareholders’ wishes: shareholders in telecoms companies want their investments to bear fruit and one of the ways to ensure that is to acquire maximum market penetration; they will also want to be in the forefront of commercial development and meet all the regulatory requirements to secure that position. Most of the shareholders [possibly 95%] are likely to be corporate or institutional investors whose main concern is the yield over the medium term. Private shareholders are in it for the dividends and rarely concern themselves over operational details. Shareholders are free to sell their stakes if they consider their company is on the wrong track.

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peter says:
17 November 2015

Ha! The magic 90% figure… So the 10 % or the 1% – people like me with a mile long track will never get anything… And I’m in the middle of Shropshire with high speed connection all around me. Nobody is EVER going to run a cable / fibre a mile long just to supply me. Government guarantees – rubbish – meaningless..

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Living in a city, I have had several years of broadband speeds below 3Mb/s, regardless of provider. I’m on TalkTalk Essentials (“up to 8Mb/s”) at present because I don’t believe I can do better by switching other than to a more expensive (fibre) service, which isn’t available yet where I live, about a mile from the local telephone exchange.

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I live in a rural village in Hampshire and I ‘m paying for medium fast broadband up to 36mbps .Unfortunately the highest I’ve ever had is 21 and that very very briefly . Speed checkers tell me that my average spped is 3.2 mbps yet a friend who lives 70yds away is regularly 25-26 mbps . we are both about the same distance from the cabinet( 1/2 mile ) and both just over a mile from the exchange . The only difference is that he’s with a company that is a subsidary of BT and I’m not . How is that explained ?

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Judith Cutler says:
17 November 2015

Broadband? What about mains gas for rural communities?

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Sulamaye says:
17 November 2015

It doesn’t matter who ur supplier is ultimately BT have control of ur speeds etc and it isn’t speed so much as that it drops many times a day and we ve had two suppliers who have spent months on end trying to rectify but it is BT who are the engineers and they never do more than turn up, say it is fine at that moment in time and go away again. What can r suppliers do faced with that. When it’s working, despite being up a Welsh mountain the speed is 3.4 mb which is viable, of course it Wd be great to have more speed, but firstly I’d just like a connection that is stable!

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My broadband is barely 2mb and unreliable so I have to pay extra for fibre. I think this is deliberate to make us pay for fibre, where available. Like others I wonder what affordable means. I expect data caps will be imposed by ISPs to compensate them being compelled to deliver a decent speed, so you’ll end up paying more anyway. Rip Off Britain at its best. I hope I’m wrong ☺

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Steve says:
17 November 2015

“progress is glacially slow and the latest timetable is for us to get a speed of 2mbps by the end of 2017.’”
In 1970 studennts at Huddesfield College of Education – Technical used to put their data onto punched papertape which was taken to Huddersfield Poly by a man on a bicycle. That represented a transfer rate of greater than 2 mb/s per second (millibits/s) . 2Mb/s (megabits/s) is the minimum that should be considered Broadband.

stewball says:
17 November 2015

Good news from the Government? BT have not delivered in my area on the 95% for which they have already been paid. The exchange to which I am linked has five green cabinets, four of which have been fibre-enabled but the fifth one, yes, you’ve guessed it is the one to which my ancient copper wire is connected. Whilst others on the exchange are enjoying greater speeds, mine remains at under 1.5Mbps. BT have so far refused to connect the fifth box and now that the remaining 5% provision contract has been sourced elsewhere, they have no doubt thrown their toys out of the pram. Promises, promises – all made to be broken!