Super-duper Broadband Coming Soon

Some time in the next month or two our broadband connection speed is going to increase to 1,000 Mbps. That's 250 times our current speed and will give us the fastest speed anywhere in the country. It sounds mad, doesn't it?

For years our broadband connection speed has lagged behind speeds enjoyed by people living in towns and cities. On a good day we get about 4 Mbps and this is just about OK for normal use - surfing, email, BBC iPlayer on lower quality and so on. But newer applications are out of the question. We can't store large files 'in the cloud' because they take too long to upload. We can't stream HD video. And if we try to do too many things at once it all grinds to a halt.

We know that people in urban areas can get 10 times this speed with BT Infinity but we also know that we're unlikely to get this any time soon. The simple economics means that rural areas will never be of great interest to BT because the cost of installing the new fibreoptic technology is just too high. And that's why the government's only commitment to rural areas is that they will get a minimum of 2 Mbps by the middle of 2015. Not very exciting.

So we put it out of our minds. Until we heard about B4RN - Broadband for the Rural North. This non-profit, community-led organisation is installing fibreoptic to every household in our village (and other villages nearby) and will offer broadband speeds of 1,000 Mbps for £30 per month. This will be the fastest connection in the UK and one of the fastest in the world.

It sounds completely absurd but it's real. B4RN's business model is completely different from BT's and they provide fibreoptic cable right up to the individual household (FTTH) which is why they can offer the amazing speed. It will be as if the entire internet is in the room with us!

In a slightly bizarre twist, BT has now announced that it will also be connecting the village using fibreoptic, starting next month.We are assured that this is just a coincidence although it hardly seems to make economic sense to connect our village (population about 500) using fibre before they have connected, for example, the City of London.

Anyway, B4RN starts digging across the fields next month so we're quite excited. I'm already starting to think about the things that we will be able to do with our 'world class' connection...