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No-frills internet for rural UK extended another year

The Better Broadband Scheme will continue subsidising internet access for people who are stuck with a slow connection.


The British countryside may be idyllic, but it's not always known for its speedy broadband.

Kathleen Craig

There are plenty of reasons to love the British countryside but broadband speed doesn't usually top the list. Fortunately for those in rural areas, a government scheme to help out internet slow spots has been extended for another year.

The Better Broadband Scheme is a subsidised broadband service from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. It costs no more than £400 per year, and it's only suitable for homes and businesses that can't reach speeds of more than 2 megabits per second, can't be reached by faster commercial broadband services and aren't in a location where the government plans to roll out superfast broadband in the next 6 to 12 months.

Getting the internet to those hard-to-reach places is still an issue in most countries. Canada ruled that broadband should be considered a basic service in December 2016. Meanwhile Microsoft is working with "white space" to bring speedy internet to rural America.

"There is still more to be done to get decent broadband to all and the Better Broadband Scheme helps people with the very worst broadband, to provide immediate assistance to those most in need. I'm delighted to say we are extending the scheme to help people in some of the most rural and hard to reach areas of the country," said Minister for Digital, Matt Hancock. 

The scheme is only recommended for people who can't get access to broadband in any other way. You're encouraged to research all of your available broadband options before applying since it could be possible to get a better deal from a broadband supplier if there's one that reaches you.

You can find out more if you're interested in applying for the scheme.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.