A Solution for Sluggish Rural Broadband

Lydia Whitney
Posted by Lydia Whitney
20th November 2017

Many companies located in rural areas will understand the problems - and the tedious nature - of working with a sluggish broadband connection. 

This still poses issues for many, despite significant government investment in 2015, seeking to ensure all UK premises had access to high speed broadband. Presently, only 59% of premises in rural settings are able to access sufficient broadband speeds.*

Being a substantial distance away from the exchange and below the required “superfast fibre” upgrade plan, the Norfolk-based business was forced to explore alternative broadband options, to ensure their business stays up and running all year round.

Netmatters delivers superfast broadband to local rural business.

The business sourced a satellite broadband and the results provided significant improvement on download and upload speeds, but delivered poor performance due to network latency becoming an increasing problem. As data had to travel from earth, up to the satellite and back down again, there was a significant lag when browsing the internet. Once buffered, streaming media was satisfactory however, the costs of satellite bandwidth prohibited the use for live streaming. This - coupled with the unreliable connection - left the business with no alternative but to source another, more reliable solution.

Our team of telecommunication experts were tasked with implementing a fast and dependable broadband connection for the business, one of which they could use all year round - to not only browse the internet - but also stream television and music when necessary. Our team conducted a thorough audit on the area, identifying a phone mast less than 2 miles away that had recently been upgraded to deliver 4G to the surrounding area; opening an opportunity to utilise the mobile network.  

During our initial audit we recognised the business was situated in a ‘low spot’, and was partially covered by a hill, meaning they didn’t have a direct line of contact with the mast at ground level. We explored various alternative options of connecting to this mast, providing improved and sustained internet speeds, yet staying within the client’s defined budget.

Conducting our 4G signal tests at various points around the building, we identified a significant roof level connection to the mast that was able to provide excellent broadband speeds. We concluded this was would be the best solution, and sourced the best available data only sim package from a mobile carrier that supported the 4G signal in the area, and set about installing a hard-wired 4G aerial to a router inside the building.

Using this method, we were able to provide the rural business with a reliable internet connection within budget - delivering impressive 80mbps download and 20mbps upload speeds – representing a download speed of over 80 times that achievable from the landline broadband in the area and on par with speeds seen in any major city.

We are delighted with the end result, and the business have been able to continue to grow online, with their fast and reliable internet connection, all year round.

For the sake of introducing redundancy into a system for business owners, we would always recommend installing a 4G router with a broadband line failover. Though this basically doubles the cost, it allows for there to be redundancy in the case of failure of either service. 

If you would like an on-site survey, to see if you could be using a better solution - suited to your businesses needs - please get in touch today.

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* Superfast Broadband Coverage in the UK, 2017