Broadband ISP Solutions for Remote and Rural UK Communities - Current Solutions Continued Page 4 - ISPreview
Broadband Solutions for Remote and Rural UK Communities
By: Mark Jackson - September 20th, 2010 : Page 4 -of- 8
"get broadband over the same invisible wireless cell network (radio spectrum) as used by mobile phone services"

2. Try Mobile Broadband

uk mobile broadband mastIt's now possible to get broadband over the same invisible wireless cell network (radio spectrum) as used by mobile phone services via any of the country's five main operators - Vodafone , Orange , O2 , T-Mobile and Three(3) . These are quite affordable but they all have different coverage, which means that you may need to investigate or try several before being sure that your location is covered.

Sadly remote locations are less likely to have access to this, beyond basic voice calling, although that is set to change in 2011/12 when operators add new spectrum, begin converting existing voice (2G) services to use 3G/Mobile Broadband and introduce new technologies like Long Term Evolution (LTE). Until that time the issues of sporadic coverage and variable performance will not change, much.

As for Mobile Broadband itself. The current crop of services tend to deliver average download speeds of 1-2Mbps, while uploads are normally in the 200-400Kbps range (0.2-0.4Mbps). On some connections the latency (lag) can also be too slow or unstable for services like VoIP (Skype, internet voice calls), multiplayer gaming or Virtual Private Networks (VPN).

Some operators also adopt compression technology that causes website pictures to look ugly, while others (e.g. 3 Mobile) may impose Traffic Management upon P2P and popular internet services, such as Skype, which can make them effectively useless. All in all Mobile Broadband is quite good for basic broadband access, assuming you can get it, but its performance and other restrictions can limit its usefulness.

Check out our Mobile Broadband ISP Listing and Mobile Broadband Technology pages for more detail. We also highly recommend that anybody interested in this service read through these two articles for a fuller appriasal and guide to the service itself:

* How to Use Mobile Broadband - Vodafone
* Top Tips for Improving Mobile Broadband Performance

3. Try Satellite

uk broadband satelliteSpace (earth orbit) based satellite solutions are finally starting to improve after years of stagnation, which is good because they can offer a quick-fix alternative and come with 100% coverage. Some current generation satellites are able to offer broadband download speeds of up to 4Mbps, and uploads of up to 0.4Mbps; although in 2011 a new crop of 8Mbps+ services should become available from Avanti and Eutelsat (suppliers).

Unfortunately satellites cost a lot of money to maintain and put into orbit, which means that they can be quite pricey for consumers. Service fees for a 3-4Mbps package have at least come down to more respectable levels, costing between £25 and £35 per month. However it is not uncommon for hardware and installation fees to reach into the £500+ territory, making the total price prohibitively expensive.

Many satellite solutions also come with meagre usage allowances (e.g. 2.5 GigaBytes (GB) per month) that make them useless for rich media and video viewing, while other "unlimited" services will often reduce your speed to dialup levels once you have downloaded more than a certain amount. This represents a serious barrier to flexibility.

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