BROADBAND & WI-FI
Options for broadband
Broadband speeds are measured in ‘megabits per second’ or Mbps. The higher the number of Mbps you have, the speedier your online activity should be.
For the last few years, the advertised speed offered by all providers in the UK offering standard broadband has remained at 17Mbps. However, this has now dropped to the more realistic 10Mbps. Most customers on a 17Mbps package currently receive around 9.5Mbps, which is still plenty for most online tasks. A standard broadband connection of 10Mbps is fast enough for browsing the Internet, streaming TV, movies and music, Netflix, iPlayer, Spotify, connecting 4-6 devices and working from home.
The point at which you will need fibre broadband – at least 35Mbps – is when you want to connect a large number of devices at the same time (phones, tablets, games consoles and laptops), stream 4K Ultra HD content (Netflix & Amazon Prime recommend at least 25Mbps), download large files quickly, watch multiple streams or run a business.
At RuralTech we are always ready to discuss and give realistic advice on the best broadband access technology available in your area. Some of the connectivity options to get your home or business on the Internet are listed below, but others include mobile, microwave and satellite. So please just ask us.
ADSL Broadband – depending on your local telephone exchange you will be able to access either up to 8Mbps or up to 24Mbps download speeds via a broadband ADSL Router with packages based on a data usage allowance.
Bonded DSL Broadband – this works by bonding up to 4 standard broadband lines together to create a single virtual broadband connection to the Internet for your business.
VDSL2 Fibre Broadband – allows you to access download speeds of up to 40Mbps or 80Mbps or 300Mbps, with a maximum upload to 30 Mbps. These high speeds will allow you to meet the ever- increasing data demands made by new technology. This will ensure your business has the capacity to compete. One important factor is how you are connected and the distance from the local BT OpenReach Cabinet or Telephone Exchange.
VDSL2 Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) – this is a part fibre, part copper solution, capable of delivering download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps. With FTTC, fibre is run from the Telephone Exchange to the Cabinet in the street. Copper wire is still used in the final link from the Cabinet to your business premises or home office.
Ultrafast Broadband - is the next generation of broadband with a download speed over 100Mbps - G.fast still uses the copper wire from the local cabinet within a distance of 500 metres and will give a download speed of 330Mbps and upload speed of 50Mbps, depending on the ISP package.
Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) – this is a full fibre solution, capable of delivering download speeds of up to 1000Mbps (1 Gigabit) and upload speeds of 100Mbps. Fibre is used all the way from the Telephone Exchange to your business premises or home office and is usually delivered using underground cables.
To test your broadband speed: www.speedtest.net
Can I get broadband? www.kitz.co.uk
What about Shropshire? www.connectingshropshire.co.uk
Superfast microwave connectivity to remote, rural areas that fibre just can't reach
A lack of decent broadband connectivity is the reality for around 1.1 million homes and businesses in the UK.
Airband Community Internet Ltd., based in Worcester, is helping to get thousands of rural, hard-to-reach customers across England and Wales connected.
The family-owned company delivers Internet via a fixed wireless network; a technology that allows the Internet to be transmitted via microwave waves rather than cables. The signal is passed from a radio on a transmitter to a radio attached to your building. From there, a cable is passed into your building which allows you to connect to the Internet the same way as via fibre or an ADSL connection.
Unlike satellite Internet, fixed wireless connections do not suffer from latency and are not limited in speeds they can deliver. And, due to the lack of dependence on third party infrastructure, fixed wireless has the added advantage of quick installation times and low install costs. There is no need to dig up any roads to lay cables.
Airband currently provides broadband in parts of Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Oxfordshire, Shropshire, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, Devon, Somerset and throughout Wales. If you are in an area that fibre just cannot reach, Airband might be the solution!
Mobile Broadband - 4G home broadband that uses the mobile network to provide home internet access
If you happen to be in an area where fixed-line access is limited and fibre to the premises (FTTP) is never going to turn up, then mobile broadband could be the solution! Mobile broadband delivers internet connectivity to your home over a wireless network, in much the same way as you would access data on your smartphone. It works anywhere there is a mobile signal and around 98% of the population has some level of coverage.
You can connect to mobile broadband in a number of ways: a personal Wi-Fi hotspot device, a dongle that plugs in to the USB port of a laptop, inserting a SIM card directly into you SIM-enabled laptop or tablet or using a SIM card router (this the main and most popular form).
RuralTech has recently installed an EE 4G Sim Card Router for a farming client in Shropshire whose broadband connectivity kept collapsing. With five children all home schooling, plus a farm office and milking parlour to run and no sign of fibre to the premises arriving anytime soon, the family was desperate for a solution. Keith connected the new EE router to the farm's original DrayTek 2862 router and the family are now enjoying download speeds of up to 60Mbps.
Benefits of mobile broadband include:
It is a convenient and flexible way to access the Internet
It's easy to set up - there is little or no set up required, you won't need an engineer to install anything and it's ready to use instantly
You can 'pay as you go'
Unlike microwave broadband, a 'line of sight' to an antenna is not required
If your home or business is covered by a fast 4G network, you could enjoy faster broadband speeds than fixed-line connections.
If the signal is poor inside your house, your supplier can usually fit an external antenna to your house that plugs into your router and will boost the signal, providing you with a better connection.
If you are frustrated with your connectivity, talk to us about mobile broadband today!
Satellite Broadband could be a realistic alternative for connectivity in remote, rural areas
According to Ofcom, around 95% of the UK can get access to superfast broadband. But what if you’re one of the households that can’t receive fixed or mobile networks? How do you get online?
Satellite broadband is an alternative way of getting Internet in your home. Just like satellite TV, it is beamed all the way from space to a satellite dish that’s installed on your property. It then gets hooked up to a Wi-Fi router just like normal broadband.
New satellite internet technology that’s being introduced now is expected to completely replace the older, slower system that currently exists. Led by Elon Musk’s Starlink project (a division of his company, SpaceX), these new satellites use lasers instead of radio waves to work. Availability is expected to grow rapidly this decade. Starlink has already launched well over a thousand satellites into low Earth orbit and, thanks to a recently-acquired license for a satellite ground station in the Isle of Man (to add to its existing ones in Cornwall and Buckinghamshire), may soon be able to achieve ‘blanket’ internet coverage across the UK.
So keep an eye out for Starlink broadband in the next few months – it might soon make its way to your area!
Fed up with poor Wi-Fi connectivity?
Don't despair, there is an affordable solution!
Now that Wi-Fi is an integral part of just about every new piece of consumer electronics, and even many appliances, it is more important than ever to have a usable wireless network throughout your home, office and even outside your property.
One annoying limitation of Wi-Fi networks is their signal reach. The range of a typical Wi-Fi network sometimes doesn’t even cover a house properly, let alone an office building or farm. Fortunately, Wi-Fi networks can be boosted, meaning that their signal strength and corresponding coverage area can be increased.
One solution, which we are now recommending to our clients, is the installation of business-grade wireless access points. A wireless access point (AP or WAP) is a device that creates a wireless local area network (or WLAN). It connects to a wired router, switch or hub via an Ethernet cable and projects a Wi-Fi signal to a designated area.
Our nominated suppliers, Ubiquiti Networks™ and Aruba, offer a range of affordable, reliable, good quality products to provide a multitude of flexible solutions for virtually every scenario. Features include:
Power over Ethernet (POE) – Installation is easy! You can mount a Wi-Fi access point with POE anywhere, even without ready access to a power plug. For example, if you want to enable Wi-Fi access in your company’s reception area but don’t have a router within range, you can install an access point near the front desk and run an Ethernet cable through the ceiling back to the server room.
Bridging – Ideal for securely connecting multiple buildings together wirelessly without the need for cables. Wi-Fi reach can be extended outside, for example to garden sheds, stables, farm yards and outbuildings, with outdoor wireless access points combined with high-gain (directional) antenna technology and external weatherproof housing.
Roaming – much like a mobile phone on the move, roaming allows a device to quickly connect from one Wi-Fi access point to the next without disconnecting.
Controller-based – controller-based access points offer centralised management, configuration, encryption, updates and policy settings through a centralised WLAN controller. Your network can be monitored at anytime and anywhere to ensure you are getting the best Internet service possible.
If you are becoming increasingly frustrated with your Wi-Fi connectivity – either at home or in your place of work,
RuralTech can provide an affordable and reliable solution!