When you’re living in a small village, staying in touch with the wider world can be even more important.people outside a village shop

Internet access in rural communities is notoriously bad, with many villages having limited or unreliable access and some still only having dial-up internet connections.

The internet is widely used by both public and private sectors to deliver services. Many rural enterprises also rely heavily on the internet for running their businesses, so the case for broadband in rural communities is clear.

Pioneering rural communities are finding new ways to use broadband for their needs; in some cases, high speed broadband is being used for telehealth services, where patients in remote areas can be seen locally by their doctor or health professional via a high definition webcam facility.

Rural communities can establish community enterprises to provide themselves with broadband services. Some may use WiFi technology, while others increasingly are looking to fibre broadband to provide even faster broadband speeds.

Community broadband enterprises are helping to bridge the digital divide, from digging trenches for fibre cables (the main cost of providing fibre broadband to rural communities) to commissioning services from specialist companies to help them put the services they need in place. They can also create partnerships with organisations from the public and private sector to allow them access to additional resources.

Next steps

Get community support for your idea or read how others have others have got connected. Visit Village Communities to link up with other local communications enterprises. Or check out these useful organisations: