Those of us who know anything about Broadband in Britain’s rural areas know how difficult it can be in the vast majority of such areas to get any kind of connectivity. This is why some of us have been so exercised about the growing number of stories in BBC Radio 4’s long-running serial “The Archers” about the use of computers and social media. I think the intention behind these stories is to be welcomed, as a demonstration that such issues are featuring in the mainstream more and more. However, what doesn’t ring true, is that nobody in Ambridge seems to have any connectivity issues. We have had lots of stories recently about community members using Skype to talk to relatives in far off places, and they have been using the video function, which, we know just won’t work over many rural connections.
Now, there ARE rural communities in the UK which have good connectivity, but these, almost exclusively, are areas which have not sat on their backsides waiting for BT or someone else to decide to upgrade them, they have gone out and done something themselves about the situation. Such communities include Wray in Lancashire, and Asby de la Launde in Lincolnshire, which is the UK’s first 100Mbs Fibre to the Home rural village. There have been no such stories in Ambridge, it would be great if there were, as an inspiration and signpost to other rural communities. So, the question remains, how does this particular rural community get such great connectivity?
Now, apparently, Ambridge is also in an area of great 3G mobile coverage, as we learn that Elizabeth Pargetter has bought her daughter a Christmas present of a phone with internet and “all the bell and whistles”. Is Lilly Pargetter destined to berate her mother for buying her an expensive brick, which won’t work in her home and surrounding areas, or are we to get a story about the another aspect of Ambridge’s fortunate position in contrast to most of its rural counterparts. Is it the one rural village with a proper 3G signal that would allow a mobile phone to connect to the internet?
Guy Jarvis of NextGenUs talks about installing fast broadband in rural Lincolnshire