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Case Study
April 2022

Our broadband services can be genuinely life-changing for those trapped on the wrong side of the 'digital divide' and suffering from unusably slow internet connections.

See how we helped one Derbyshire resident who was quoted £40,000 to get better broadband.

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Rural areas priced out of having fast internet: 'I was quoted £40,000 for fibre broadband'

Despite a Government scheme, many rural homes are left unable to afford fibre broadband.

A homeowner, who was experiencing broadband speeds of just 2Mbps, was quoted £40,000 by Openreach to improve his internet.

David Henthorne, a retired resident in Buxton Derbyshire, contacted BT under the Universal Service Obligation (USO) scheme after finding he was unable to perform basic tasks online due to the slow speeds.

This is part of a piece of government legislation that gives eligible UK addresses the right to request a 'decent' broadband connection.

A logo for the inews website

However, residents in rural areas often find they are quoted tens of thousands to have fibre installed, unless they have neighbours which are on board and willing to pay out.

Mr Henthorne had been with his provider since 2002 but as his reliance on the internet to perform everyday tasks increased, he noticed that his current service was completely unsuitable to do everyday tasks, from online shopping, banking to connecting with family and friends.

In a time where having access to reliable and high speed internet is essential, as many people continue to work from home, the lack of reliable internet left David frustrated and increasingly isolated.

At first, he contacted his local MP Robert Largan who represents the High Peak constituency.

Mr Largan put David into contact with Openreach but this is when he was quoted tens of thousands of pounds as there was no one to share the high costs.

photo of countryside in derbyshire

Looking for a feasible solution, Mr Henthorne looked online and found National Broadband, a firm that specialises in leveraging 4G and 5G technology to deliver fit for purpose broadband across the whole UK.

It has a particular focus on providing much improved internet connections to more rurally located homes and businesses where fibre doesn't reach - a complaint that has become more common in recent times.

Mr Henthorne sent an enquiry to National Broadband and it was able to help set him up with high-speed and reliable internet within weeks of his application.

He now has speeds of 20Mbps, lifting him out of digital isolation and allowing him to perform important tasks online.

Mr Henthorne said: “The solution offered by National Broadband has been an absolute God-send. I don't care to imagine the time I spent sitting around waiting for pages to load.

“I am now able to get on with my day-to-day online activities and talk to friends and family online hassle free.”

According to Ofcom there are currently over 600,000 properties in the UK that find themselves in a similar situation to Mr Henthorne and are unable to access reliable broadband service from either fixed or fixed wireless networks.

David Hennell, Business Development Director at National Broadband, added: “We are living in a world where access to reliable internet is an essential part of our daily lives.

“However, for an unfortunate few it's either not accessible to all or is accessible at an enormous personal cost.

“This is highlighted in David's story and raises the question of the suitability of the Openreach community fibre programme in connecting those most in need. The Government needs to evaluate the costs of installing fibre around the UK or look into alternative solutions that are available to improve the current digital divide.”

See this story on the inews website.

The above case study originally appeared on the website of our parent company, National Broadband Ltd

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