He runs a community website and uploads nature videos and weather reports, but was finding the task too difficult with basic downloads speeds of about 500Kbps.
Because his 3G coverage in Wales is also intermittent, he decided to turn to a satellite 22,000 miles above Africa for help.
A spokesman for BT said: ‘Heol Senni is in scope to benefit from the scheme and work to provide access to superfast broadband to this rural community is anticipated to be completed in the early autumn.’
The satellite broadband doesn’t come cheap, however – Professor Spry pays ?420 a year for its download speeds of up to 28Mbps.
A retired professor of immunology, he also pays ?250 for BT broadband, used as a back-up if the satellite signal is blocked by heavy rain or snow.
‘I’m interested in what’s going on in the world, I’m a very inquisitive person, I’m asking questions all the time and I need to know so the web is a wonderful resource for all of us who need to know what’s happening,’ he said.
View photos Professor Spry lives in rural Wales where broadband is slow (Picture: Rex) More
His internet signal travels about 50,000 miles from a satellite dish in his garden to the ASTRA 2F satellite and back, via a firm in Luxembourg.
‘It really makes all the difference in the world, without it I think my life would be quite difficult up here… but it does need a satellite 24,000 miles above the surface of the earth over the Congo – it does seem ridiculous doesn’t it,’ he said.
‘Without broadband we’re living in a dark age, so let’s hope everybody can have high speed broadband soon and they’ll be able to use it for whatever they want – entertainment, education, research – it’s a wonderful tool for everybody.’
The government announced on Sunday that homes and businesses everywhere in the UK will soon benefit from universal high-speed broadband.
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Ross, Skye and Lochaber in Scotland is the worst area in the UK for broadband with around two-thirds of internet connections failing to reach the government’s proposed minimum standard, new -figures have shown. The rural constituency in north-west Scotland had just 65.6 per cent of its broadband connections reach download speeds of 10 megabits per second (Mb/s), according to analysis by the British Infrastructure Group of MPs. Further analysis by MPs of download speed data recorded by Ofcom in 2016 found Scotland had the four worst performing parliamentary constituencies in the UK for their broadband speeds.
More than 60 per cent of connections in three other Scottish constituencies – Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Argyll and Bute and Orkney and Shetland – failed to reach download speeds of 10 Mb/s. Scotland had eight of the 20 worst performing constituencies, closely followed by Wales with seven. Kingston upon Hull East was the worst constituency in England for download speeds, with 56.8 per cent of connections failing to hit the government’s proposed universal service obligation.
Yesterday more than 50 MPs have backed calls for urgent improvements to Britain’s broadband. The British Infrastructure Group of MPs want automatic compensation for families who do not get the internet speeds they pay for, with Ofcom urged to get tougher on providers. A report by the group, titled “Broadband 2.0”, found as many as 6.7 million UK broadband connections may not receive download speeds above the government’s proposed minimum of 10 megabits per second (Mb/s). Less than half of UK connections are thought not to receive superfast speeds of 24 Mb/s, according to the group. Ofcom previously found 1.4 million people have download speeds below 10 Mb/s, while the Department for -Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said millions of people had not signed up to superfast broadband.
However, the MPs say data gathered by Ofcom does not distinguish between connections for customers not signed up to superfast broadband, and those customers not -getting the speeds they are paying for. They argue the current system makes it “almost impossible” to determine how many households do not receive the speeds set out in their contracts. This is disputed by Ofcom, which said they provide “robust, comprehensive data on broadband take-up and availability”.
Former Tory party chairman Grant Shapps, who chairs the group of MPs, said: “Although broadband is increasingly considered to be an essential utility, the quality of customer services has simply not caught up with demand.”
Hundreds of households were left without phone or broadband services after cabling was cut by vandals in Tweedbank. A manhole was tampered with near Galafoot Bridge and 800 telephone and broadband lines were damaged. The incident occurred between 00:00 and 02:00 on Wednesday 26 July.
Insp Tony Hodges said: “This is a mindless attack on the community, leaving many people without essential phone lines and internet services.
“We are keen to speak to anyone who may have been in the Kingsknowes Bridge and Tweedbank areas in the early hours of Wednesday 26th and may have seen or heard anything suspicious.”
A BT spokesman said the operator was working to repair the damaged lines as quickly as possible and expected to have the service completely restored later on Thursday.