You may have heard in the news today that the government is trying to get everyone in the UK (including rural areas) access to super fast broadband in the next five years.
Obviously, this will be of great benefit to the online world as such, and will enable a great degree of rich website content (with video streaming, faster downloads, etc.), also paving the way for increasingly popular technologies like TV on demand, and interactive contents.
For those who have been using broadband for a while (I’ve personally had broadband for 10 years, and was one of the first 1,500 BT Broadband customers!), almost no-one would go back to dial-up now.
I was fortunate to meet a very senior person within the telecommunications industry a few months ago, who helped explain to me how this could be achieved, (as I was puzzled over the knowledge that broadband quality decreases significantly, depending on your copper cable distance from the phone exchange. similarly, it wouldn’t be affordable to run fibre optic cable many km to just one house in a remote valley).
As you may know, from 2012 analogue tv is being switched off entirely (many parts of the UK are already digital), and when this happens, the digital signal will actually become stronger (because the analogue signal, interferes with the broadcasting of the digital signals, from the same arial).
Because the analogue signal uses up quite a large portion of frequencies for TV (ie like your FM radio broadcasts on a range of frequencies), when the digital switch happens, because digital can be broadcast on a smaller isolated frequency, it opens up a lot of spare frequency space. Which can be reused.
In the more rural areas, you might also already be aware of satellite phones (that enable two way communication with satellites, virtually anywhere in the world).. well this same type of technology will also enable very fast broadband speeds in rural homes (and is capable of speeds much greater than we can can currently get via cables at the moment in the UK).
All this means that my dream of living in a remote sustainable farmhouse in the valleys of North Wales, whilst maintaining my website design and development on-line, will soon be a real possibility! 🙂