Yack Yack Yack
The Gov and BT have been yacking on about rural broadband for what seems like years now. Openreach is usually the dominant supplier in those areas and have missed so many opportunities whilst planning the fibre networks. Take Caithness for example, John O Groats has just been enabled for fibre yet most of the communities outside the village itself still cannot get ADSL broadband let alone fibre. Of the mobile networks in that area, only 2 provide 3G which is either painfully slow or offline totally. One of the biggest issues is that Openreach measure the speed and availability to their network distribution point (DP) In rural areas this is more often than not several km's from the customer premises. According to any speedchecker, the customer can receive service which therefore then bars them from the satellite discount scheme for those that cannot get service. In reality, the customer cannot receive anything as the line is just too long. ISP's will accept an order, BT Broadband even go so far as to guarantee a minimum speed. The hardware is sent and the account is set up, hardware will not sync with the exchange so they blame that and send another, rinse and repeat! Eventually an engineer is sent who explains that he can't do anything due to length of line from DP and that the premises cannot receieve any form of data on the line and never will unless the DP is moved closer to the property. ISP then release customer from contract and advise that a guarantee of minimum speed isn't really a guarantee after all.
The whole thing stinks. Local politicians are fully aware of the issue, but the Scottish Government keep passing the buck with no real resolution in sight. This issue is repeated all over the UK's rural areas yet no one seems to be doing anything about it. We all know Openreach wont do anything off its own back unless it being beaten with a big stick!