Q I have converted a barn on my property to let as a holiday home, but I am losing money because I can’t get BT to install broadband. I have it in my own property, but I have been trying since November to get it for the barn, as guests will want wi-fi. What can I do if I can’t get broadband?
Laura Harcourt, Devon
A You can persist and wait this out with BT, or take matters into your own hands, as a vacant property is costing you money.
Having looked at the mobile internet situation for your postcode, 3G and 4G mobile broadband aren’t really an option.
EE 4G barely covers the area, with low signal strength, while the other network providers (O2, Vodafone…
Devon County Council is working towards bringing better internet connection to the more remote areas of Devon, including Okehampton as it is situated on the edge of Dartmoor.
A SOUTH East Cornwall man hopes to help others stuck with slow internet in rural areas after engineering a solution to his troubles. Steve Inglis, who lives around four miles outside Liskeard, had serious issues with slow internet speeds as he works from home. The IT worker was receiving only 2mbs from his standard broadband connection.
He said: “I started thinking about how I can get better broadband and I spoke to BT many times about when we were going to get fibre.
“But now they are not promising anything for small communities.”
Fibre broadband can offer speeds of more than 50mbs but BT have not yet brought the service to many rural communities. Mr Inglis found a solution by creating a system to use 4G mobile internet in his home. The system works by capturing the signal at an aerial on a neighbour’s house, which is connected to a router fitted with a SIM card from EE.
He said the new system now gives him a connection speed of between 50 and 70mbs.
“As a home worker it is down to me to make my own arrangements for broadband,” he said.
“It has made a massive difference, the old connection was very slow.
It’s really an amazing difference, I’m not sitting twiddling my thumbs waiting for things to load.
“You can use it for anything; pictures, videos and music.”
He added the initial set-up costs of his system were similar to satellite broadband. “There were capital costs of 500,” he said.
“You will then pay 12 to 50 per month for the data, the only catch is you can’t get unlimited capacity.”
Mr Inglis said he thought this kind of system could be used by rural communities to deliver better internet to everyone in a village albeit for a higher set-up cost.
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