Published: 30th Dec 2014
After all the build-up and hype, Christmas has been and gone. The presents are all unwrapped, tonnes of turkey have been eaten and many of us will have spent just about as much time with our relatives as we can bear.
However, fear not, as the festive season is not over yet! In just a few days' time it will be New Year's Eve and one last chance to celebrate before we return to normality in 2015. But, what can we expect to see from a broadband perspective in the new year? We take a look below.
Rural rollout debate rumbles on
If there's one thing that is almost guaranteed for 2015, it's that the debate surrounding the rollout of super-fast broadband in rural areas will carry on. While the government continues to try and improve connectivity in the countryside, its efforts, and those of its partner BT, have been heavily criticised.
There are a number of factors that have seen the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) project take a bashing. Many people have complained of a lack of information about where and when the rollout will take place, while others are unhappy with the service that has actually been delivered. With gripes about the scheme being aired on an almost daily basis on 2014, there is not much to suggest the new year won't see more of the same.
Satellite comes to the fore
With people so unhappy about the rural rollout, many will need to look to alternatives and 2015 may well be the year that satellite broadband comes to the fore. Indeed, the technology has recently been highlighted by several stakeholders as an ideal means of improving countryside connectivity.
Speaking to the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs Select Committee earlier this month, president of the CLA Henry Robinson said: "The CLA called for the committee to recommend a universal service obligation for access to broadband. This includes a fixed-line broadband service of at least ten Mbps and looking at using alternative technologies such as satellite to ensure the needs are met of the final five percent of rural areas not currently connected."
Indeed, Chris Townsend, chief executive of BDUK, has also highlighted the role satellite has to play. He told Cable.co.uk the technology has a particularly important function in remote areas such as the Scottish Highlands.
"It [the super-fast rollout] includes fibre, it includes Wi-Fi and it also includes particularly satellite in the very outer reaches of the Scottish Highlands where fibre and Wi-Fi solutions can't solve the problem," he stated.
In light of these comments, 2015 may be the year in which more residents of the UK's rural areas turn to satellite broadband to ensure they can take advantage of the internet in the same way as their urban counterparts. Indeed, with the web becoming more important to everyday life with each passing year, people living in the countryside cannot afford to be left behind. So, why not make 2015 the year you get connected?
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