Rural broadband – who offers the best service?
If you're in need of a better rural broadband provider, we've put together a list of companies that offer the best service.
When it comes to living in a rural area of the country, many of us know all-too-well the difficulty of getting access to a reliable broadband system. Unlike those who live in more densely populated areas, those who call the countryside home often have to make do with sub-par, snail-speed internet connectivity, if they are even able to get that.
There are a number of reasons that rural broadband connectivity has been notoriously poor in the past. Most often, the main problem boils down to a basic lack of infrastructure in rural or remote areas. Technically speaking, you would be able to access standard broadband, rather than fibre broadband, anywhere you can get a BT landline, which accounts for almost 99% of the country. But because the broadband has to travel through copper wiring, the distance it has to run to your location from the nearest exchange (the green box you see in many towns and suburbs) and back again, the slower your connectivity will be.
Quality and speed
In most cases, one green box has to serve multiple homes in the countryside that are many miles away, meaning the quality and speed of the connection will suffer greatly, as opposed to a green box in a town that only needs to supply internet to homes within a half-mile radius.
Add this to the outdated technology often used in rurally located exchanges, as well as a general lack of competition between providers owing to the lower population, and many rural areas simply cannot rely on standard or even fibre broadband to provide a usable service. And in the current climate, many of us have come to realise just how important useable broadband is. Gone are the days when broadband was just a luxury; in the modern world, whether for professional or personal reasons for that matter, broadband is now a basic necessity.
But many of the top providers in the country are now offering improved service in more remote areas through fibre and 4G services. So if you’re struggling to get decent rural broadband, here are our list of the best providers below:
Rural broadband – who offers the best service?
Best overall (best for rural-specific use)
Founded in 2010, Gigaclear describe itself as the “rural broadband provider that is currently building one of the UK’s largest full-fibre networks…to provide full fibre connectivity to some of the most underserved communities in the country, where existing internet speeds can be as slow as 1Mbps.”
This rural broadband provider is so committed to providing speedy connections to people in remote areas that it recently won an award at the ISPA Awards for Best Rural Broadband provider. Gigaclear isn’t as established as some of the other names on our list, indeed it isn’t exactly a household name in this country, but it is our top choice because its mission is targeted specifically at rural areas.
Best for dealing with low signal speeds
Widely regarded as having one of the best coverages of any broadband provider in the country, EE has an offering that seems perfectly set up for rural broadband needs. EE is able to provide rural broadband to customers even in pretty remote locations, but if your signal speed is still too low, their 4G and 5G home routers could be the answer if you can’t rely on fibre or standard broadband.
Good for isolated areas
4G Broadband is another company that specialises in offering good rural broadband to the most remote of areas, utilising a 4G system which does not need to rely on the limitations of standard or fibre broadband, which ultimately needs to be connected to a green box. It isn’t a household name, yes, but don’t let that put you off – 4G Broadband is definitely worth considering if you live in a particularly tricky or isolated area.
Best for device connection
Vodafone’s answer to providing rural broadband is the GigaCube. Like the others on this list, rather than relying on fibre and standard broadband in hard-to-reach areas, the GigaCube, according to Vodafone, is “a portable wireless router that transforms our 5G and 4G networks into WiFi – connecting all your devices in seconds.”
To find out more, remember to search for GigaCube on the website.
Best for prices
The Three Network offers unbeatable prices – it has tried to ease the difficulty of getting decent rural broadband by bringing out a range of 4G and 5G broadband hubs. It’s simple in that you just plug in and get going, and all packages offer unlimited data for a very reasonable price. To find out more, just search for Home Broadband router on the website.