Poor rural broadband hurting children's education header image

Published: 7th Mar 2014

The lack of reliable broadband connections in the UK's rural communities is hurting children's education.

This is according to a study by NFU Mutual, which found one in five families in the countryside have struggled to access online resources for their children's schoolwork.

Spokesman for the organisation Tim Price stated: "As more educational resources become internet-based, country children risk falling behind their urban counterparts. 

"Studying via the internet is now a key part of children’s education and it's unfair that learning opportunities are being affected by slow internet speeds."

Many of the respondents to the survey also revealed they have to make more phone calls due to the lack of a reliable broadband connection. 

This is not the first time the impact of poor rural broadband on education has been highlighted. In July last year, watchdog Estyn called on the government to improve internet access at schools in rural Wales otherwise pupils would be at risk of falling behind.

Meanwhile, in January the BBC reported on a study by Mind the Gap, which found children from poor backgrounds across the UK are are suffering at school due to a lack of reliable broadband.

Communications minister Ed Vaizey responded to NFU Mutual's findings by saying the government knows how vital a good level of internet access is to everyday life. He also claimed the coalition is well on track to deliver super-fast broadband to 95 per cent of the UK by 2017.

Are your children missing out on the educational benefits of the internet? Worried you will fall into the final five per cent not covered by the government rollout or cannot wait until 2017?

Satellite broadband is the ideal way of solving these problems. Available now, it can provide speeds of up to 20 Mbps, which is more than sufficient for online learning.

This technology is perfect for rural areas as it only requires the installation of a small satellite dish and modem to function, meaning it can be set up and functioning within a few weeks of an order being placed.