If your area isn't currently included in the Superfast Broadband Programme there are a number of alternatives that can significantly improve your current speed or provide a connection while you wait.
1) Your Right to Decent Broadband
The communications regulator, Ofcom, has launched a scheme giving people the right to request a decent broadband service.
The Universal Service Obligation enables those who can’t get a download speed of 10Mbps and an upload speed of 1Mbps to request an upgraded connection.
In Hampshire, requests for this are being taken by BT.
Click here to find out more and to apply.
2) Broadband via mobile
Mobile broadband is often available in areas outside the Superfast Broadband Programme. It is provided through mobile telephony network and doesn't require a landline. The strength of the connection will depend on the strength of the signal in your area. To see the availability visit Ofcom's mobile phone coverage checkers.
Mobile broadband offers a flexible alternative that can be accessed with a number of devices, including mobile phones, mobile dongles, MiFi units and data cards. In most cases mobile dongles, which work as portable modems, are USB-compatible and plug directly into the laptop, PC or device. Thanks to that you can access the Internet wherever the network is available, both in your home and on the go.
Connections via 3G/4G
As 3G network and the improved 4G coverage in rural areas of Hampshire expands, 3G and 4G services might present a viable alternative as a faster home broadband solution. To improve mobile network reception it might be necessary to install an antenna on the roof, however, the mobile network signal may be strong enough to connect directly via a router in the living room, achieving speeds up to 60Mb on the fastest 4G connections.
In areas closer to mobile masts even simpler solutions such as wireless dongles may offer residents a reliable connection and the opportunity to connect up to 10 devices.
On the whole, 4G provides a faster internet service than satellite and offers larger monthly data packages. The latency of a 4G service is usually lower compared to satellite. However, it is worth mentioning that 4G, as all radio-based systems, 3G and 4G services may be affected by a number of local factors, such as building materials, tree cover and weather conditions.
When using this technology make sure to choose a tariff that will allow you comfortable browsing without exceeding capped limits, as the charges outside the allowance might be costly.
Providers in Hampshire include:
Other providers may be available.
Plan to tackle UK mobile not-spots
The government has dedicated £150m for the Mobile Infrastructure Project (MIP), which was first announced in October 2011.
Arqiva has been appointed to build the new site infrastructure, while mobile network operators EE, Telefonica, Three and Vodafone will be providing coverage from the sites and funding their operating costs for the 20-year life of the project.
Arqiva has begun identifying suitable sites in a phased manner.
For more details and the coverage map, including benefiting areas of Hampshire, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/mobile-reception-around-uk-to-get-massive-boost
3) Additional alternatives:
Some communities have decided that superfast broadband is so important to them that they have sought to fund a solution for themselves rather than wait for a government sponsored rollout to reach them. We have put together a short list of companies that offer various types of solutions for varying types, and sizes of communities.