How new superfast broadband is impacting on rural communities

Having a good internet connection has become an essential requirement when looking to move house. In this guest post, Kerry Butters, who is writing on behalf of the comparison website, is going to show how fast broadband changes rural communities across UK.

The everyday lives of people here in the UK are becoming more entwined with the Internet than ever before. The continually increasing number of gadgets and appliances, Smartphones, TVs, Tablets, and Game Consoles, etc., are all a part of our everyday lives, both socially and professionally.

The advent of streaming high definition movies, long-distance video conferencing for businesses, and video chats for friends and family in far-off places, are all now realities.

The New National Fibre Roll-out program

Many towns and cities across the UK have already benefited from the new fibre rollout programme, but it’s the rural communities where it’s often most needed, to connect the inhabitants to what’s happening not only here in the rest of the UK, but in the rest of the world as well. So the announcement that the government has set aside £530 million worth of public funding to enable delivery of superfast broadband to outlying rural areas is excellent news.

Some rural communities have already benefited from connection to the new superfast service. Changing people’s lives as can be seen from the following snippets of news. Take the Highlands of Scotland for example:

The Scottish Highlands 

News released in October of the £264 million broadband investment scheduled for Scotland (£106.7 million coming direct from BT) doesn’t come a moment too soon. Cabinet Sec for the Scottish government, Mr Richard Lockhead recently informed Scotland’s rural affairs committee. “There is now evidence of people leaving rural communities to live in urban areas due to the unavailability of fast broadband.”

Mr Lockhead suggested that whilst in the past, the depopulation of rural communities has been linked with lack of access to higher education, affordable housing, and employment opportunities, there is now a new factor to be considered. It is the lack of availability of fast broadband. Mr Lockhead referred to research he had seen to evidence this matter, and stated that it is a subject for concern.

Superfast Broadband comes to Belthorn, Lancashire

Following the arrival of superfast broadband in Belthorn, Lancashire, Local MP for Belthorn, Mr Graham Jones, is reported as saying that superfast broadband will help to transform businesses and communities, enabling improved communication, productivity and access to new marketplaces.

One local business, UK Installations Ltd, has already reported seeing the benefits that superfast broadband has brought them. Ian Billing, UK Installations’ Finance Director advises that their new broadband capability will enable them to compete more effectively with other larger companies in far-off marketplaces such as China and South America. He said no one knows that they are a small company in a tiny rural village; in the digital world it makes no difference. He also said that it will enable employees to work from home, thereby cutting down on travelling time and costs.

The director in charge of BT’s “Next Generation of Access for the North of the UK“, Steve Edwards commented that the Internet plays an ever more important role in our lives here in the UK, from children who study and play games, to grandparents being able to stay in contact with their grandchildren, to enabling people to work from home. All of these things will be facilitated by superfast broadband.

UKNetWeb, a web design and development company based in St Agnes, Cornwall, more of a remote holiday destination than an industrial area, are also raving about their new superfast broadband connection. Managing Director Toby Parkins says that it takes them into the super league, helping to give them a competitive edge in supplying their web software solutions to a wide range of international clients, enabling increased productivity, strengthened customer relationships, and reduced storage costs too.

Bringing Rural Communities up to Speed

The superfast broadband rollout program will bring a welcome boost not only to people’s everyday lives in rural communities, but will secure their future too. They really will be part of the global village. Whilst for the moment the roll out has seen plenty of delays, there is little room for doubt that the impact of superfast broadband on rural communities is and will continue to benefit these in a number of ways.

If you’re unsure on whether superfast broadband is currently available in your area, Broadband Genie’s fibre broadband postcode checker can provide more information.

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Manuel Timita

Co-Founder and Lead Designer at illustreets
Manuel is a UX designer, developer, mapping enthusiast, and part-time Open University student. He loves his girlfriend, England, most Asian and European cuisines, JavaScript, cats, French authors, alternative music, The Witcher, red wine, and The Matrix. Runs on coffee by the gallon and Garibaldi biscuits.

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