‘Not spot’ has become a commonly-known term for anyone familiar with the broadband industry. If you haven’t heard of it before, it essentially refers to a part of the country where a fast and reliable broadband connection is hard to come by, if available at all. Such areas are surprisingly common here in the UK, particularly in rural communities where whole villages can struggle to get online.
Living in a not spot can be incredibly frustrating, especially as the internet has become such a big part of many people’s day-to-day lives. However, being in a not spot isn’t something you simply have to put up with, as alternatives are available. Read on to find out more.
Why is My Area a not Spot?
Before working out how to overcome your lack of connectivity, it’s important to understand what is holding back broadband in your area. The majority of households in not spots try to go online via an ADSL service, which is provided by signals sent down a phone line and there are a number of issues that cause this technology to be slow and unreliable.
ADSL broadband connects to the web using signals sent along phone lines from a data exchange. Many not spots are located a considerable distance away from these exchanges and this can drag down speeds. Another factor is poor line quality, which can be caused by the copper cables carrying the internet signals suffering problems such as corrosion and water damage.
These two factors are probably the most common issues that contribute to an area becoming a not-spot, but there a range of other potential problems that could hold back connectivity in your area.
What can I do about it?
If you’re keen to improve the level of internet access in your region, you can report the issue to broadband-notspot.org, which is a project that has been created by website think broadband to raise awareness of the lack of connectivity in certain areas.
You can use their website to run a speed test to determine the standard of your broadband service. The organisation classes a not spot as an area where broadband is not realistically available at all, while locations where speeds of no more than two megabytes per second (Mbps) can be reached are defined as “slow spots”.
Research by telecommunications watchdog Ofcom found the average connection speed for the UK in May was around 18 megabytes Mbps, while this drops to 9.9 Mbps for rural areas, which indicates just how far behind not spots and slow spots really are.
Consider Switching to Satellite
While registering with broadband-notspot.org may raise awareness of your lack of connectivity, it won’t do anything to fix the problem in the short term. However, there is a service that can, as satellite broadband is ideally suited to bringing reliable internet access to not spots.
This technology is unaffected by the issues that hold back ADSL broadband, as it operates via signals sent from a satellite in orbit. This means the same level of service is guaranteed regardless of location, as everywhere is the same distance from a satellite in space.
Satellite internet can provide speeds of up to 20 Mbps and the technology has been hailed by Oliver Johnson, chief executive of renowned broadband analysts Point Topic, as a “realistic alternative for anyone who wants internet access”.
It is available immediately and the installation process takes no longer than a few hours, meaning your home could be connected within just a few weeks of placing an order.