We’re privileged to provide IT Support and managed services across Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire and Hampshire as it’s such a beautiful part of the world. But the beauty presents its own challenges, particularly to businesses in rural locations who are reliant on being able to have good broadband. The difference between acceptable broadband and excellent broadband is the difference between an organisation getting by, and an organisation thriving. We’re in the business of helping people thrive, so we’ve put together this post about improving broadband speed in rural areas like the areas we service.
But first thing’s first:
Password protect your WiFi
It might sound like a basic security measure, but there are businesses out there who don’t have passwords on their WiFi which means its open and available for anyone to use. Aside from presenting a security risk, the more people using it means the slower it is. By making sure you have a password, you can have a level of control as to who is logging on to the network which can help improve speed as unknown users aren’t hogging your bandwidth.
Separating the WiFi you offer to the public from your own internal network is also key. It helps with the WiFi and Compliance act, not only keeping your network secure, but also protecting you in the event that someone logs on to your WiFi to look at or download illegal content – the logging of IP addresses and devices on your Public WiFi can prove it was not your business who did so.
Without getting too technical, there are quite a few different types of broadband and not all of them are suitable for rural areas. As an example of this, ADSL broadband delivers broadband from the nearest telephone exchange so the further you are from the nearest exchange, the larger the distance it will have to travel and therefore typically the slower the speeds.
Multiple lines are joined to create one which is faster. This option is only available from specialists and can be quite costly as you need the equivalent Analogue phone lines and ADSL connections to bond but can be a great option for businesses looking for faster broadband especially where Fibre broadband is not available.
Satellite broadband doesn’t require a phoneline, but it does involve specialist equipment. Most satellite broadband plans have data allowance caps and can lead to lags due to latency of connection in online streaming which can be an issue for certain businesses.
If there is good 4G coverage in your area, this can be a good alternative to the above. However, it’s worth noting that this tends to come with data allowances and heavy charges if they’ve been exceeded. To combat this, most 4G providers have started to offer attractive monthly bundles and with some routers 4G can be a good auto failover options for when either ADSL / Fibre connections go down.
Fibre optic broadband
Fibre optic is widely considered the future of broadband, as it’s the fastest option in every location. There are two main types, fibre to the premises (FTTP) and fibre to the cabinet (FTTC). FTTP uses glass wires and light to transport broadband which transmits data nearly 10 times quicker than the copper wires used by FTTC.
EFM (Ethernet First Mile)
If you’re unable to get ADSL or Fibre, Ethernet First Mile (EFM) could be a viable solution, by bonding connections into one line. It can be fairly costly, but it can be a godsend to rural businesses who need to be provided with a reliable connection.
A leased line is a dedicated data connection. ‘Dedicated’ here means that the bandwidth along the route of your leased line is reserved entirely for your use, so it doesn’t fall at peak times. They’re also symmetric which means they can upload data fast and download data at the same speed whereas the connection speeds of ADSL and fibre can fluctuate. Leased lines are especially useful if there are members of staff on the team who need to access their work PCs from home.
Line of sight solutions
Line of sight broadband is exactly as it sounds. If building 1 can receive a secure high-speed connection, as long as it’s in the line of sight of building 2 with no obstructions such as other buildings or trees, we are able to install access points to allow building 1 to share its connection with building 2. Not only is this great for businesses with multiple buildings on the same site, it also allows businesses to share their connection with other businesses.
Choose a rural broadband provider specialist
A provider who works day in, day out supporting rural businesses with their broadband will be fully au fait with the struggles caused by slow and unreliable broadband and they’ll be much more enthusiastic about helping you get the connection speeds you need!
Your location shouldn’t be a business disadvantage, it should be an asset, and you should still be able to have access to VoIP telephone systems, flawless video-calling, streaming, and everything else you need. The right provider will have your interests at heart and will help supply the ideal solution.