South-east has 'best rural broadband' header image

Published: 10th Apr 2013

Rural areas in the south-east of England have the best broadband connections, according to a new survey.

The 2013 Halifax Rural Areas Quality of Life Survey assessed the standard of living in Britain's rural communities.

It measured several aspects of life such as healthcare, personal wealth, income, employment rates and broadband services.

Halifax defined a 'good' internet connection as one that can provide download speeds of two Mbps or more.

The areas with the highest number of households that had access to this level of broadband were Chiltern with 94.6 per cent, Mid Sussex with 94.1 per cent and Thanet with 92.4 per cent. All of these regions are located in the south-east.

This is reflective of the survey's results as a whole, with Halifax finding that rural quality of life was highest in the south-east.

Waverley in Surrey was ranked the best rural borough to live in and Chiltern and Mid Sussex also appeared towards the top of the list.

While the results of this survey are interesting, the threshold Halifax used for accessing a good broadband service is somewhat low.

Connections of two Mbps are well below the UK average, which according to Ofcom is currently 12.1 Mbps and the typical rural broadband speed is 5.1 Mbps.

Download speeds of two Mbps are often insufficient for popular online activities such as streaming TV programmes or films, playing games or downloading large files.

This type of connection can be particularly slow if more than one person is trying to carry out these functions at the same time.

As a result, even people living in areas that Halifax found to have a good broadband service could benefit from a faster connection.

One of the best ways to improve internet speeds in rural areas is satellite broadband. It does not require any expensive and time-consuming infrastructure development such as laying underground cables and can be installed within a few weeks of placing an order.

As the connection is being sent by a satellite, it provides the exact same download speeds regardless of location.

Posted by Craig Roberts