Longhirst residents struggling with internet speeds of 0.5Mbps header image

Published: 22nd Jun 2016

The residents of Longhirst, a village located near Morpeth in Northumberland, have set up a campaign group in a bid to secure better broadband for their community.

Local publication the Chronicle reports that villagers are so fed up of the poor internet speeds they are currently faced with that they have decided to take matters into their own hands and speak out about the government's broadband rollout efforts.

At the moment, a significant number of domestic and commercial properties in the area can only access speeds of 0.5Mbps, despite promises from parliament that all UK premises will be connected to speeds of at least 2Mbps by the end of next year - something that currently seems a world away for Longhirst residents.

A spokesperson from iNorthumberland - the programme responsible for delivering supposed super-fast fibre broadband to homes and businesses in rural parts of the county, managed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) - has recently reiterated this pledge, angering Longhirst villagers.

However, it has also led them to form their own campaign group, which has earnt the support of local MPs.

Peter Coates, secretary of the group, commented: "At present, we would be delighted to have access to 2Mbps, but cannot see any way the DEFRA spokesperson's statement can be fulfilled in two or three years, let alone by the end of 2015.

"It seems very wrong to us that all national and local current investments seem to be directed towards the 'easy wins'."

iNorthumberland claims that it has delivered super-fast broadband to over 40,000 homes in the region, but Longhirst is still waiting to be upgraded from its abysmal 0.5Mbps connection.

Therefore, one option for the village could be satellite broadband. This can provide homes and businesses with internet loading speeds of up to 22Mbps, with no need for them to wait for a commercial network provider to install a roadside communications box in their area. Instead, they will connect to the web via satellite, making the technology ideal for those based in rural communities.