Case Study
New Forest
August 2022

Internet connectivity is far more likely to be painfully slow in rural areas. That doesn't just affect homes and families - the impact on rural businesses can be equally negative.

Here's how our 4G broadband finally ended the digital deprivation of one farming business in the New Forest.

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We end the digital deprivation of one farming family with life-changing connectivity via our 4G broadband services

Chris Smith and his family live on their working farm just outside the New Forest. Unfortunately their rural location meant that their landline broadband ran at cripplingly slow speeds as low as 1 Mbps, making it incredibly difficult for the family to get anything done online.

Amongst many other things, this prevented Chris from managing his farm properly and also stopped his children from accessing important online tools for their education, while making use of services such as on-demand TV was a literal impossibility.

When looking into solutions, he was quoted a costly £7,000 by BT for access to fibre services. Unable to pay such a hefty bill, Chris decided to search for alternative broadband options and this is where he found out about National Broadband.

A logo for the Farming Online publication

Whilst struggling with such poor broadband speeds, Chris and his family realised how dependent they were on access to reliable internet for all aspects of their lives - both personally and professionally. Consequently, BT's quote of £7,000 to move the broadband cabinet just 200 metres to provide access to fibre broadband was particularly hard to take.

Fortunately, Chris's decision to look for alternative solutions paid off when he found National Broadband. Its bespoke 4G service was able to transform his broadband experience and provide speeds of over 50Mbps.

Chris Smith explains: "National Broadband was great at showing and explaining our options to us. Before switching providers, we were unable to all get online at the same time, which when running a family farm and trying to get schoolwork done can be frustrating. Now being able to get online has allowed us all to get work done effectively and has made for a far happier household."

A photo of the countryside in hampshire

Many of the farming community find themselves in a similar situation to Chris and his family, as research conducted by the National Farming Union (NFU) revealed, showing that 30% of farmers have broadband speeds of less than 2 Mbps.

Additionally Ofcom states there are over 506,000 premises that still do not have access to decent broadband via a fixed or landline connection in the UK. Not only does this lack of connectivity hamper business growth as is all too often the case in rural economies, but it is also genuinely debilitating to so many other areas of life for those suffering with poor broadband.

David Hennell, Business Development Director at National Broadband said: "There is still a huge gap between rural and urban communities and their access to reliable broadband. The Digital Divide impacts society more than ever as broadband becomes an ever more essential part of people's daily lives."

David continued: "If the Government is serious about its 'Levelling Up' agenda, it simply must start looking into alternative broadband delivery technologies to bring high-speed connectivity to rural communities which are invariably those most in need. Surely that should be the priority, rather than focusing on upgrading fibre connections in urban areas, which already have access to perfectly fit for purpose broadband."

See this story on the Farming Online website.

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