Bridging the Digital Divide in rural Britain

While those living in major cities and urban areas Broadband
have easy access to high speed internet, there are some
who are finding their lives, careers and learning
held back by slow connections. As schools and companies
take to the online space for work like never before, many
living in rural areas are struggling to keep up with
the demand of the online world.

Education held back
As schools hope to educate children in more than just English, maths and science,
teachers are encouraging children to take advantage of the many resources
of the internet, which will then aid them whilst looking for a
career outside of the school environment.

Unfortunately for some, this kind of homework is impossible to do at home where a
fast connection to the internet just isn’t a possibility. Whether it’s due to living in a location
which simply doesn’t receive signal, or the high provider prices which parents can’t afford,
children are falling behind from their peers.

MP for Bury North, David Nuttall, has made a call to Great Manchester requiring action
to tackle the problem of access in rural areas. Speaking to Bury Times, he said:
“Those who live in areas which have very slow broadband access speeds
are seriously disadvantaged in this digital age.

“Although in recent months we have seen some progress – for example in Nangreaves
thanks to the hard work of the local residents – there is still much to be done.”

Help from above
A long-term plan is yet to be implemented, but there is one idea which has been seen
as a successful solution to the problem. While the installation of fibre optic broadband
could be costly for many families who cannot afford to foot the bill, there is an alternative.

Satellite broadband is relatively unknown in this country, but it could provide access for
those who are living in remote areas, as well as those who can’t afford to pay
for their own personal provider.

CEO of EuropaSat, Andrew Walwyn, has explained how this form of broadband could help
homes who are struggling: “Whilst traditional wired broadband providers champion their
investment in fibre networks, in reality out of town dwellers are still stuck staring across
the digital divide because of their distance from the exchange.

“The latest generation Ka band satellite broadband services offer defined, predictable service
levels at reasonable cost, with no geographical discrimination. Using a small set-top box and
an outside mini dish it’s now possible to deliver up to 20 Mb fast broadband
to any property in the UK or indeed Europe.”

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