The Covid-19 pandemic has created a huge demand for faster broadband and also highlighted the importance of being connected. As more people have been forced into working from home and with video conferencing the new norm, a fast reliable broadband connection has become essential. Broadband connectivity in the UK is constantly improving, with rapid roll-out of fibre to the premises (FTTP) in urban areas. FTTP offers gigabit capability and a futureproof connection. Companies like: Airband, Gigaclear, B4RN and Truespeed are helping to bridge the gap by delivering FTTP in rural locations
Fixed wireless broadband for rural areas
If FTTP is not yet an option, there are alternative ways to receive broadband in rural locations e.g. via a fixed wireless rural network like Airband. Airband are a regional broadband specialist who offer Superfast broadband which covers Devon, Somerset, Oxfordshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, North Wales and South Wales.
Airband are an independent broadband provider who operate their own high speed wireless broadband network. They also offer fibre broadband to the premises (FTTP) capable of delivering speeds of up to 1Gbps (1000Mbps) - even in places where no BT infrastructure exists. Enter your postcode into the availability checker below to see if Airband are available in your area.
What is Fixed Wireless Broadband?
Fixed Wireless Broadband, also know as Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) is a type of high speed internet that is transmitted from a radio mast similar to a mobile phone network. Fixed wireless broadband is typically found in rural locations where Superfast broadband is limited. Connecting to a fixed wireless broadband is often the best way to get fast broadband in remote areas. Performing better than satellite broadband, FWA is a very niche market and network coverage tends to be regional. The best provider of FWA for you will depend on the area where you live. To connect to fixed wireless broadband you will need to have a small aerial or dish installed on the outside of your property. As a guide, Airband offer unlimited broadband from £38 per month (£99 one-off installation fee). Typical download speed ranges from 30-40Mbps with 10Mbps upload (12 month contract applies).
Did you know that you have a legal right to request a decent and 'affordable broadband connection' for your home or business?
If you have exhausted all options and are unable to find a fixed wireless broadband provider in your area, you may be eligible for a free broadband upgrade from BT or KCOM. Since March 2020, broadband in the UK has been re-classified and is now considered an essential utility service just like water, gas and electric. UK law now stipulates that if you are unable to achieve a download speed of 10Mbps and an upload speed of 1Mbps, you can request that your connection be upgraded. The 'Universal service obligation' (USO) law also stipulates that your service provider must offer this for no more than £46.10 per month.
To enquire about your right to be upgraded: call BT on 0800 7830223 Or, if you live in the Hull area: call KCOM on 01482 602555. Further details can be found on BT's website here:
www.bt.com/uso or on KCOM's website here: www.kcom.com/uso
Universal service obligation (USO) eligibility
You’ll be able to request a network upgrade if you meet all of the following basic criteria:
You don’t already have access to an affordable and adequate broadband connection at the speeds mentioned above.
Your property is unable to achieve an adequate speed via a 4G or 5G broadband connection.
You’re not due to get access to a publicly funded broadband option within the next 12 months.
NB. You can request a network upgrade for static caravans or houseboats as long as they're in a fixed location. A copy of a current council tax bill or business rates bill may be requested.
Universal service obligation (USO) upgrade cost
When you request a broadband network upgrade from BT or KCOM they have 30 days to confirm if you’re eligible. If the cost of upgrading your broadband network is less than £3400 (exclusive of VAT), you will not need to contribute to the upgrade. If your quote is more than £3400, you would be liable for the remainder of the cost if you still wanted to upgrade.
How long will it take to upgrade my broadband network?
If you’re lucky enough to meet all the criteria above and you're ready to accept your upgrade fee (if applicable), you could be in for a bit of a long wait….. Both BT and KCOM aim to complete the network upgrade within 12 months. However, they do state that it can take as long as 24 months. If you're not prepared to wait, or require a temporary solution then satellite broadband would be your next option. Or, alternatively, you could explore the Openreach Fibre Community Partnership
More rural broadband options
Compare 4G & 5G mobile broadband
B4RN community Broadband
4G Internet reviews
Airband availability checker
Airband broadband is available in the following areas: Devon | Somerset | Oxfordshire | North Wales | South Wales | Shropshire | Worcestershire | Herefordshire | Gloucestershire | Warwickshire
Enter your postcode to see if Airband is available in your area