Wireless

BT alternative provides savings and improved broadband

23rd November 2020
Alex Lynn

People living in rural and remote parts of the UK continue to be denied access to crucial online services owing to a lack of awareness of viable alternatives to fibre connectivity and critical gaps within the broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO), according to a firm providing connectivity over the 4G mobile network.

Thousands of UK residents suffering from poor broadband connections are simply unaware that there are alternatives to the sky-high prices being quoted to deliver a ‘decent’ standard of internet connectivity by monopoly provider BT Openreach. 4G Internet, a specialist nationwide internet service provider, contacted one such consumer living near Cockermouth in Cumbria, David Roberts, who had been quoted £502,586 to upgrade his internet connection.

“Our connectivity was so poor that downloading a twenty minute video clip took over three hours, streaming TV programmes wasn’t worth the inevitable disappointment of them cutting off halfway through, and staying in contact with friends and family through video calls was impossible,” Roberts said. “And it’s not just me – many of our neighbours need decent speeds for work and, in a time of working from home, the speeds they’re getting simply aren’t good enough. To be quoted such an amount to get usable broadband – something which everyone depends on – left me speechless in all honesty”.

4G Internet visited Mr and Mrs Roberts’ home and succeeded in connecting them via the 4G mobile network instead of relying on BT’s underperforming copper landline connection. The couple are now accessing speeds between 11 and 14 Mbps – at least ten times better than they had previously and exceeding the USO’s benchmark for what it calls a ‘decent connection’. The entire bespoke installation process, which costs under £400, also involved the professional fitting of an external 4G antenna and took just one day to complete.

“My wife and I had no idea we could access the internet through a mobile phone signal and we were initially sceptical that it would work. Since the installation we are now able to watch TV and movies from streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon Prime with no buffering and without losing the signal altogether. We are now hoping other homes in our community can be connected in the same way,” Roberts commented.

UK residents have the right to request a ‘decent’ broadband connection under the USO, a piece of government legislation that also provides a grant of up to £3,400 toward the cost of upgrading the network in an applicant’s area. However, many of the 500,000+ properties across the UK that are estimated to be eligible for such a grant have been receiving unaffordable quotes of hundreds of thousands of pounds from BT Openreach to provide them with these basic standards of connectivity.

“Connecting people like Roberts can take BT many months, with lengthy consultation times and, as we’ve seen in Cumbria and many other rural locations, completely unrealistic quotations,” said 4G Internet's Business Development Director, David Hennell. “We would therefore encourage the many hundreds of thousands of UK homes and businesses still trapped on the wrong side of the digital divide to consider the benefits of nigh on immediately deployable and highly cost-effective alternative methods of internet connectivity such as 4G.

“Those being left behind are so often those with the slowest current broadband speeds and thus those in the greatest need. But there is a solution available right now which entirely resolves the frustration and difficulty so familiar to those many rural customers who simply want and frankly deserve better broadband.

“In this case, the location was particularly challenging and so we were only able to provide 4G broadband speeds of around 50% of what we normally deliver to our customers. Even so, the hugely improved broadband performance so quickly and cost-effectively achieved for the Roberts has made a genuinely life-changing difference.”

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