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Rural broadband schemes and solutions

Keen to get the inside line on fibre broadband? Read on and we'll tell you everything you need to get you up to speed.

Broadband Delivery UK's (BDUK) fibre broadband rollout is set to ensure that 95% of UK homes can get a superfast 24Mbps connection by 2017. If that includes you, you're one of the lucky ones.

If you're on the 5% of the population who live in the mostly rural areas not covered by the rollout, you're at real risk of being left behind.

For consumers living in rural areas not covered by broadband, your only options are to sign up for an ostensibly costly satellite broadband service or go through the rigmarole of organising local people to support a community broadband scheme.

The good news is that if you decide that clubbing together is the solution, there's now plenty of assistance available from a range of sources. Below, you'll find a list of organisations who can advise you and help you get the funding you need to get you and your community online.

Rural Broadband Partnership

village countryside

The Rural Broadband Partnership can help you found a community broadband project in your area or search for existing community broadband projects to which you can add your support. It also features template letters for initiating contact with your local council about broadband schemes and applying for funding.

Find it here at the Rural Broadband Partnership official site.

Community Broadband Scotland

Like the Rural Broadband Partnership, Community Broadband Scotland's site features advice and funding application forms to help you get a community broadband scheme off the ground.

To be eligible for funding, you must currently have a connection of under 2Mbps or have no connection at all.

You can find more information on the official Community Broadband Scotland site.

What about pilot schemes for new broadband technology?

As part of the challenge to serve the 5% of the UK that's being left behind, the government is also conducting a series of trials of alternative broadband technology in select locations in the UK.

These are exploring the viability of 4G mobile internet, fibre-to-the-premises broadband and satellite broadband.

Rural broadband success stories

There have been a number of notable rural broadband projects. Business who credit the government's Digital Cities with boosting their prospects include architects, recording studios and a host of tech start-ups.

Villages have also seen connectivity transformed. The most advanced is Claverton in Somerset, which was the first village to partner with BT to co-fund broadband provision.

Before the scheme, the fastest speeds in the village were less than 1Mbps. Now residents can access fibre-optic service with a headline connection speed of 80Mbps.

Find out more about broadband speeds with our dedicated guide: Broadband speeds explained.