Mobile broadband 'not a substitute' for fixed-line services header image

Published: 22nd Jun 2016

While the rollout of 4G connectivity to some of Britain's hardest-to-reach communities is a welcome development, cellular networks should not be considered a replacement for fixed-line services.

This is according to more than one campaigner for better rural broadband, price comparison website reports.

Christine Conder, founder of community-led campaign group Broadband for the Rural North, argued: "It would be great to have 4G, but not as a substitute for a fixed connection".

Similarly, Paul Dixon - a spokesperson for Action with Communities in Rural England, a charity that represents almost 40 councils - told the website that superfast mobile broadband should not be seen as "an alternative to fixed broadband".

He said that 4G was only "one of a mixture of options that people can use to get online" and that it would be amiss for the government to overlook remote communities not covered by the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) project simply because they can connect to cellular networks.

These comments come shortly after 4G pioneer EE announced a new push to provide connectivity to over 2,500 small towns and villages up and down the country. This rollout should be completed by the end of the year.

Around the same time, Vodafone told that it is on track to achieve 98 per cent 4G population coverage by 2018.

However, one of the problems with using cellular networks as an alternative to fixed-line broadband is the cost, as well as the fact that many bundles come with strict data caps.

Ben Haines, founder of Lincolnshire community broadband project FibreLincs, explained: "With packages often being limited to 5, 10 or 15GB, they aren't suitable for homes with kids or people working from home."

If you're tired of waiting for news on whether or not BDUK will be extended to your area, or worried that attempting to use 4G for everyday connectivity will result in a mammoth data bill, consider switching to satellite broadband instead.

Avonline provides generous data bundles and high bandwidth rates, so even if you're looking to stream TV and film, you should be able to avoid exceeding your allowance.