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High speed broadband grant

January’s Connexion said new grants could help access high speed broadband. There are now many options other than broadband by phone line so, what do I need to know before applying for a grant?

Communication has long been constrained by distance but, today, satellite broadband can open up the internet for some.

However, in several areas it is oversubscribed so new, lower, data packages have been put in place.

Now, France is looking at using the 4G mobile network to offer internet while main telecom companies are trialling 5G services in five major French towns.

This is despite concerns that unlimited data allowances could overburden the network and cause collapse.

The costs of bringing much needed broadband to rural areas using traditional copper and now fibre connections are extremely high – but there are also costs for doing nothing with loss of business and jobs, and even residents moving away from poorly served areas. Doing nothing is not a viable option.

The probable solution for more remote areas is either a 4G or 5G option as it costs less to erect telephone masts than installing fibre lines to homes.

The speed is significant as it takes about an hour to download a film on 4G but less than a minute via 5G.

This new grant will help 1.5 million people, but half a million households cannot even access the internet. This help, while welcome, will be too little and may not arrive until 2022!

The 40-year-old equipment in most telephone exchanges is being replaced, hopefully by 2020, and the big fibre investment is the best solution if you are not in a remote area. 

Upgrading the exchange  means calls will be carried by a faster broadband service, opening up more communes. If this does not help you, register on the new state website which is being  launched this summer.

Do also check with your mairie to see what plans there may be for your area so you can take an informed decision.

Question answered by Bob Elliott from the telephone and broadband provider, UK Telecom. See for more information on their services in France

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