Countryside to get faster, cheaper broadband


Millions of people living in rural parts of the UK could soon enjoy faster, cheaper broadband after Ofcom decided to significantly reduce the prices that BT can charge internet providers in less-densely populated areas.

It is hoped the move will narrow the difference between prices that consumers in rural and urban areas paying for the service.

The telecoms regulator announced that there would be a 12% price reduction below inflation per year to BT wholesale prices.

Better deals for customers

Ofcom says it expects these cuts to increase the number of internet providers offering services in the countryside, effectively leading to better deals for consumers. It also hopes the move will lead to faster broadband services as internet providers will be able to allocate more bandwidth per customer.

Around three million homes and businesses are set to benefit from the decision. These are mostly in rural areas, including parts of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as the south west of England, Norfolk, Yorkshire, Cumbria and Northumberland.

Ernest Doku, technology expert at, says: "This move could wipe out the postcode lottery that has seen rural householders treated as second-class broadband citizens. It has the potential to ultimately cut the costs of the bills of those living in rural areas.

"By increasing competition, Ofcom is making sure that consumers will end up the real winners as they will now have a greater choice of providers. This means the internet service providers can look to offer the best deals possible to win new customers over and, now that they can access BT's infrastructure at a lower cost, it could only be a matter of time until they pass these savings on."

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The point that appears to be missed here is that the number of service providers is only a small part of the problem. If you can only get 512k broadband then paying less for it doesnt help you much.

May areas of Scotland get poor speeds and very poor performance at peak times.

About time ,0.014 to 0.4 mg most of the time here I have been contemplating court action for BT's deliberately misleading up to 8mg. Its been daylight robbery for 5 years. Added to that the phone line lays on the ground , lays in bu
rns, occasionally goes above or underground & is frequently damaged.
Locality forestry track 3 miles south of Moniaive

Not before time, I joined Talktalk years ago, when they were advertising FREE Broadband, but it was not available in this area ! since then my broadband charge has almost doubled. I look forward to receiving the FREE Broadband that was promised to me, when I signed up.

Well everyone including Ofcom have completly missed the POINT which is that all the while BT has the monopoly over EXCHANGES and LANDLINES we have no chance of BROADBAND working in rural areas. I believe most of the rural exchanges are out of date and if the other providers were given a real chance we would see a real difference.
A survey ,by Ofcom , in the Times recently stated "TALKTALK" had the largest number of complaints but when contacted Ofcom were unable to be specific as to where the problems were,the present rural system just cannot cope.
The reason is BT has put PROFIT for shareholders before INVESTMENT in systems.

You decide to live on a forestry track 3 miles from a small town /village and expect to get the same service at the same cost as people living in large densely populated towns. Who do you think should pay for the infrastructure. OH you expect me to pay , very reasonable of you. Speaking as a person who is also a BT shareholder I cannot understand how OFCOM can be allowed to do this. Broadband didn't exist when BT was privatised in 1984 so all equipment used to provide this service has come out of BT's own funds. I can imagine Virgin reaction if OFCOM told them to give other operators access to their fibre network.

This is the best news I have heard for a long time, it is time that BT got their come uppance, for they have got their own way for far too long and have done very little to help people in the country get better broadband. I chnaged to o2 last November after years of unreliable broadband and although it is till not any faster at least it is consistant and reliable.

I live 10 miles from the centre of reading near a place called theale. We are getting speeds of 240kbps. It is an absolute joke. Especially when major Telco companies like Vodafone are just up the road. I would be more than willing to pay more to get faster speeds but I am certainly very unhappy to pay £9 a month for what is garbage. BT or Virgin please sort out the infrastructure.