You may be asking yourself why a rural community like Grafham needs superfast broadband. Perhaps you feel that your broadband service is already good enough for the services that you use today. However, the world is moving on and in a few years’ time you may find that you are unable to access the entertainment, education, health and business services available in other areas. Not only will this put you at a disadvantage living in Grafham, but there is a risk that the village could become an unattractive backwater.
Spaldwick resident Mark Heath has identified five reasons why it is crucial to bringing superfast broadband to local villages such as Grafham. You can find further information on broadband service provision in Cambridgeshire, and the need for superfast broadband, on the Spaldwick village website at www.spaldwick.com/broadband.
1. Existing broadband services are poor and unreliable
The current broadband provision within Grafham is a lottery, where neighbours can experience substantial differences in broadband speeds and reliability. While there are some fortunate residents with download speeds of about 4Mbps, many people struggle with speeds of 1-2Mbps or less. Furthermore, many residents suffer from frequent disconnections.
2. Superfast broadband is now no more expensive than basic broadband
The prices of superfast broadband services are already falling significantly, and there’s already little difference between the price of superfast broadband and basic broadband services. For example, BT Infinity superfast broadband now costs about £18 per month. So, if we don’t get superfast broadband, you’ll be paying about the same for your basic broadband service as everyone else in the rest of the country with their superfast services.
3. House prices could fall as our community would be less desirable to live in
If Grafham and surrounding villages do not get superfast broadband, residents will be in the small minority of “have-nots” in a country of “haves”. This will make our area less desirable to live in, with implications for future house prices. A survey carried out by ispreview.co.uk found that 68.8% of respondents would be put off from buying a “beautiful new house” if it lacked fast broadband. 73.9% considered that broadband was “critically important” to their home life.
If our area becomes less desirable to live in, this could profoundly impact Spaldwick School, Playtimes Playgroup, The Cinnamon and the prospects for other village businesses.
4. Superfast broadband is needed to support an increasing number of devices in the home
Superfast broadband will be essential to support the increasing number of Internet-capable devices in the home, including:
- mobile phones
- Apple TV
- Sky boxes.
All these devices will be competing for the same limited bandwidth, and basic broadband services with slow speeds will increasingly become a major bottleneck. With growing families, where there are a significant number of people in a household, basic broadband will no longer be enough.
5. Without superfast broadband, you’ll miss out on future services
A large (and rapidly increasing) number of services use broadband as a delivery mechanism, including:
- streamed video services, such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, YouTube, Lovefilm, Netflix, BT Vision and Sky Go
- TV and video download services, such as Sky Anytime Plus
- streamed music services, such as Spotify
- voice telephone services (called VoIP), including Skype
- popular applications such as Facebook.
The trend towards home working will require fast, reliable broadband connections and future government services, including education and health, will increasingly depend on high quality internet access.
As the number of superfast broadband connections increases across the country, so will the number of services that require faster speeds. Already, the BBC iPlayer requires at least 3Mbps to stream HD content, and Netflix can demand 6Mbps or more to stream high-quality video. As the quality of online video and audio services increase, so will the data rates. Without superfast broadband, you’ll have a reduced set of online services to choose from.
Please show your support for bringing superfast broadband to our village by registering on the Cambridgeshire County Council website at:
It takes no more than two minutes and there is absolutely no commitment. The registrations will be used by Cambridgeshire County Council to help prioritise where superfast broadband investment is made.