4G home broadband to fix rural ‘notspots’

Rural households with limited or no access to broadband may benefit from ‘superfast’ home Wi-Fi powered by EE's 4G mobile network - but as yet there’s no word about how much it’ll cost or which areas will be able to get it…

EE has announced plans for a home broadband service powered by its 4G mobile network, bringing much-needed hope to rural households not serviced by superfast broadband such as BT Infinity.

Next month, EE will introduce a range of plans aimed at those yet to benefit from investment in fibre optic broadband. Customers will likely be supplied with a 'hub' that picks up 4G mobile broadband and pumps out a Wi-Fi signal in the home.

The announcement follows successful trials in the Northern Fells, Cumbria, where residents who'd been forced to endure painfully slow internet for years were granted access to 4G-fuelled home broadband with speeds of between 8Mb and 12Mb.

At this stage, EE has yet to confirm which rural areas will benefit from the wider roll-out. There's also no word on data limits and, crucially, how much it's likely to cost.

Olaf Swantee, EE's chief executive, said: "One year after launch, we've extending the world's fastest network across 60% of the UK. But we want to bring the power of 4GEE to even more people."

If you're still waiting for superfast broadband where you live, EE's rural 4G solution could be the answer to your prayers. However, it's likely to cost considerably more than the average fibre optic connection and may come with stingy usage limits attached.

While it could be a temporary solution to bridge the gap between urban and rural broadband speeds, some may argue that settling for slower, more expensive alternatives just undermines campaign efforts to make superfast broadband available to all.

A lot will depend on how much the service costs and whether it's fast enough to meet the needs of rural homes and businesses.

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