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Broadband dissatisfaction endemic throughout Northern Ireland

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Rebecca Kincade on July 10, 2014 - 7:13 am in In Depth

Even if you live in or close to the centre of Belfast, receiving a reliable and fast broadband connection isn’t a given. In recent months, news stories about poor or even non-existent broadband provision in rural parts of Northern Ireland have gathered pace, with a significant number of people throughout the province revealing their dismay at not being able to access the web freely.

A survey recently conducted amongst rural dwellers throughout the UK and Ireland asked for their thoughts on the broadband they currently receive, how it could be improved and what their biggest bugbears are. Conducted by Europasat, the survey revealed a few interesting findings which only add to the picture of dissatisfaction from rural people about substandard internet connectivity.

The most intriguing finding from the poll revealed that an astonishing 47% of people living in rural parts of Northern Ireland said that they were unhappy with their current broadband. Meanwhile, 41% of people in the most remote areas said that what broadband they received was too slow for them to browse the web in an effective manner.

Those who manage to receive broadband at all might not be too surprised to find that, compared to those living in urban areas; their download speeds are significantly reduced. A lack of infrastructure is usually the main cause of slow broadband, leaving many looking to the government for help with trying to accelerate internet speeds for those living off the beaten track.

In the survey, 17% of people said they didn’t believe that the government had helped them to receive a better service. At the same time nearly one in four people (24%) stated that they were promised superfast broadband in a government scheme but were never given access. This suggests that the government has a lot to do to win over sceptical rural broadband users.

However, more than one in three people said that they would be happy with BT to have a total monopoly over the provision of rural broadband, particularly over implementing the network needed to make it happen.

Having one company solely responsible for providing broadband to the Northern Irish countryside was seen by them as a solution to the current problems.

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