While the number of premises believed to be falling below 2 Mbps in the UK is believed to be just 250,000 to 300,000 premises for those affected who want broadband it will feel like the end of the world, and as 2015 drew to a close people were hoping for a decent solution as part of the Universal Service Commitment. Then the bombshell of the easy to administer but less than ideal solution of vouchers to pay for the install of a satellite broadband connection arrived, which while working is the sort of connection people only use if there is no other option.
Now at least for premises in parts of Lincolnshire things have changed, as now Quickline who can provide a fixed wireless service at download speeds of up to 50 Mbps is an approved supplier on the BDUK USC voucher scheme. The voucher covering the cost of installing the wireless kit.
Coverage of Quickline is already integrated into our availability checker, and the example of DN21 4RT shows how bad things are with regard to fixed line services by the number of red crosses and exclamation marks.
The vouchers are only available if your existing connection is under 2 Mbps, for those with something a little faster but still wanting a speed boost e.g. to allow reliable video streaming, then an up to 10 Mbps service is £29.99 per month with a £150 installation charge (remember no voice line rental needed) and a 30 Mbps service is available for £39.99 per month. An example speed test from someone we believe who is on the 30 Mbps service can be see here with a download speed of 29.1 Mbps and an upload speed of 5.7 Mbps.
Hopefully more of the alternate broadband suppliers will seek and gain approval for the voucher scheme. Based on what we know of the coverage of alternate providers at this time over 10,000 of the 71,000 postcodes falling below 2 Mbps have an alternate provider as an option.