Interim broadband solutions
If your home or business is not planned for an upgrade over the next 12 months - check out the choice of interim broadband solutions.
Interim broadband solutions include satellite or wireless broadband. Whilst these solutions have limitations, they can provide significant improvements in speeds for people on slow and possibly unreliable broadband.
Interim broadband solutions
Satellite broadband is the most widely available alternative solution for broadband. It can deliver speeds of 10Mbps (or significantly more) but the speed is not guaranteed throughout the day and packages usually have monthly data caps.
You will need to consider how much data you are likely to require and the monthly costs of different packages. Some satellite packages allow you to transfer data overnight without adding to the monthly costs.
You will also experience a short time delay with satellite broadband as the broadband signal has to travel to the satellite and back to Earth, which will restrict or prevent the use of some applications.
Wireless broadband performs in a similar way to broadband delivered over the telephone network but the quality of the service will vary depending on the product selected.
Wireless broadband is only available in certain parts of the county - you can check if a fixed wireless broadband network is available in your area by searching for wireless operators and network providers in a search engine.
Mobile broadband works by connecting to a mobile network with a SIM card. You can connect to mobile broadband by using a dongle (read this broadbandchoices website guide to using dongles), in-car Wi-Fi device or portable Wi-Fi hotspot, a SIM card in a tablet or laptop, or by tethering from your mobile phone (read the broadbandchoices website guide to mobile tethering). 4G mobile (the fourth generation of mobile phone technology) is faster and more reliable than 3G - you can check the current availability of 4G services in your area by using the Ofcom Mobile Coverage Checker.
5G is the new generation of wireless technology - some mobile firms have started to launch 5G services, with others set to follow. Suffolk County Council does not have any 5G plans, but we are engaging with the industry to understand what we can do to support the rollout of 5G, particularly in rural areas. Visit Ofcom's website for more information on 5G.
Tips for improving your broadband speeds
The Ofcom website offers some practical tips for boosting your existing broadband connection – these steps can help provide marginal improvements to your current broadband speeds.
Funding for interim broadband solutions
Broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO)
The broadband universal service obligation (USO) gives people in the UK the right to request a decent and affordable broadband connection. Under the USO, eligible homes and businesses will be able to request a connection, where the cost of building it is no more than £3,400.
Better Broadband Voucher Scheme
The Better Broadband Voucher Scheme (which was a UK-wide government subsidy scheme to provide an affordable, basic broadband installation to homes and businesses unable to access a broadband service with a download speed of at least 2 Mbps) ceased on 31 December 2019. For more information please visit the website of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.