Rural broadband: getting up to speed
There are clear social and economic benefits of connectivity for rural areas, but the costs of - and returns from - providing the underlying infrastructure have proved stubbornly unfavourable. Several factors have raised the profile and urgency of this issue over the last 12 months: political championing, 5G rollouts, the rising value of fibre, and altnets challenging incumbent wholesalers. The onset of Covid-19 is likely to provide further impetus both in the eye of the crisis and in its aftermath as an increase in remote working could precipitate a demographic shift from cities to rural areas.
This latest research examines that long-running challenge of extending broadband to rural areas. The options available all have benefits and drawbacks; while some are cheaper, others will offer a higher quality of service. The report explores how levelling up in rural areas represents a set of trade-offs that operators must weigh in a given deployment scenario.