City slickers, with your mocha-latte-frappuccinos, Oyster cards and bendy buses; take note! If you’re reading this using a broadband connection, whilst happily downloading the latest Mad Men season from iTunes and refining “the definitive” Spotify playlist, spare a thought for the many UK residents in rural areas who still don’t have access to high-speed web connections.
We can send a man to the moon, but we can’t get a broadband connection to the village of Gringley-on-the-Hill. Thankfully, the Three network have answered the call for broadband salvation, working alongside the Countryside Alliance to form the Rural Broadband Working Group, a new inititave to offer free internet coverage to the rural areas lacking decent broadband connectivity.
Gringley-on-the-Hill (with a 750 person population) will be the first village to benefit from the new deal, with Three donating 30 mobile broadband dongles and MiFi devices as well as 4 million MBs of free data.
Hugo Dunkley, Gringley-on-the-Hill’s Parish Council chairman, Hugo Dunkley, said: “We had written to the House of Lords, our local MP, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and even a large fixed-line provider about the lack of comprehensive broadband in the community, but with no success. There was broadband in a small corner of the village but everywhere else speeds were frustratingly slow.
“Mobile broadband has addressed this problem and the dongles are allowing the people and businesses of the village to use the Internet to its full potential for the first time.”
Three to the rescue then. David Dyson, CEO at Three commented, “Thousands of communities still cannot access fixed line broadband services, but they do have access to a mobile broadband network, and that’s where this new initiative comes in.
“We have built a network designed for the Internet and are passionate about using this to help more and more people experience the everyday benefits this can bring.”