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Rural Norfolk UK Farmers Report Slow Broadband and Poor Mobile

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016 (10:37 am) - Score 593

A new survey of over 800 businesses and farmers in the Anglia region of England (e.g. Norfolk) has found that 57% suffer from “poor” or “very poor” mobile phone signals and 31% can only receive a basic home broadband connection that delivers a download speed of less than 2Mbps.

The survey also found that just 10% of respondents were able to receive a “superfast broadband” connection of greater than 24Mbps and 34% said they were unable to connect more than one device to their Internet connection. The latter probably meant that the speed wasn’t good enough to support more than one device because you can still connect multiple devices to even a slow home service, but it wouldn’t be a very good experience.

Clarke Willis, CEO of at Anglia Farmers, said (EDP24):

Norfolk County Council have done a great job in rolling out the BBfN programme, but we know there are still big areas not covered and, therefore, we are all going to need to put together a plan to ensure we cover these areas.”

It’s worth pointing out that the first phase of the related Better Broadband for Norfolk project with BT completed in November 2015, although it was only able to extend “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) services to 83% of local homes and businesses (here).

A second Superfast Extension Programme (SEP) contract also exists (here), which has pledged to push the network footprint out to reach 90% of premises by 2017 (we suspect that this 90% may reference “superfast” 24Mbps+ coverage). Admittedly the Government’s national UK target for the same date is 95%, but then Norfolk is a very challenging rural county with lots of sparse communities.

Most of the farmers surveyed will no doubt reside in many of those overlooked areas and as such the results are sadly no surprise. The challenge is in whether or not the local authority can come up with an affordable way of closing the gap, which may require an alternative network approach (example) instead of being dependent upon BT.

Leave a Comment
1 Response
  1. Avatar Kyle says:

    Better Broadband for Norfolk was a poor roll-out scheme and support, due to this they decided up upgrade 11 cabinets out of the 12 leaving a part of the village left out which is not really fair to others in that particular location.

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