How to Improve Broadband Speed in Rural Areas

By: Jake Mellor
Updated: October 7, 2021
Increasing internet speed in rural areas

In the UK, broadband internet service reaches approximately 82% of the population. The average household spends £37.25 per month on broadband services and £40.25 on mobile data and voice services.

However, broadband access is not equal across all areas of the UK. While 95% of all UK residences have access to high-speed broadband connections, only 77% of rural residences have such access.

If you live in a rural area, keep reading to find out multiple ways of speeding up your internet connection.

Ways to Speed Up Your Rural Broadband

Broadband provides convenient, high-speed internet access. But even in rural households with broadband access, internet speed is often significantly lower than in more urban areas.

Luckily, there are some ways to speed up your broadband service, even in remote rural areas.


Most internet users are familiar with the term Wi-Fi. This technology allows you to connect to the internet through your computer, laptop, smart TV, phone, tablet, or another mobile device without using a wired connection.

MiFi makes a play on the term Wi-Fi and functions in a similar manner.

However, while Wi-Fi is a stationary connection, MiFi provides a portable internet connection.

MiFi creates a mobile hotspot, an internet connection that can be moved wherever you go. It provides a portable broadband connection and allows connection to the access point for multiple users.

MiFi devices are generally slim and easily portable. They can be carried in a purse or sometimes even a pocket, making them easy to take with you on the go.

MiFi connections usually operate through the same 3G networks that most mobile phones utilize. This connection makes it easier to get a rapid connection in rural areas where broadband tends to be slow.

MiFi devices are often battery-powered to increase mobility, but there are some plug-in options as well.

Reposition Your Router

One simple, cost-free way to boost the speed of your broadband connection is to reposition your router.

Wi-Fi routers emit their signals in waves, so the best position is as close as possible to the centre of the area where you want coverage. 

It may be impossible to position the router in the exact centre of your home but get it as close as possible. Anything is better than sticking it in a corner.

Another easy fix is to get your router up off of the floor. The higher it is located, the better. Try to place it at the top of a bookshelf or another high point in the house. If you have a two-story house, place the router near the ceiling of the first floor or on the floor upstairs.

It’s also a good idea to place the router in an area with as few physical obstacles as possible. Obviously, walls and ceilings are an unavoidable obstruction. Still, try to find an open spot without any large appliances or pieces of furniture that will block the signal.

Certain devices can also cause interference with your router’s signal. Cordless phones, baby monitors, microwave ovens, wireless cameras, and certain smart devices can interfere with your internet connection, so try to avoid placing the router near any of these objects.

Upgrade Your Wi-Fi Router

Another option for improving your broadband speed is to upgrade your Wi-Fi router. 

As with any technological device, Wi-Fi routers are constantly updated and improved. There’s no need to trade routers every time an advance is made, but keeping a reasonably up-to-date device will help your internet speed tremendously.

Generally, your router should be no more than five years old.

For larger houses, consider installing a mesh network. This involves placing router nodes in various places throughout your house to boost and widen the Wi-Fi signal.

Newer routers utilize multiple bands, which reduces interference and congestion. They also provide multiple radios (the mechanisms that broadcast the signal), increasing the range of the router.

More recent routers also feature interfaces that are more user-friendly and accessible. Many of them also offer specialty features like Quality of Service rules and timers that cut off internet access at bedtime, an excellent option for parents of small children.

Most importantly, newer routers offer updated software that keeps them running efficiently and makes them compatible with new devices and appliances.

Leased Line

Another solution to the problem of slow broadband internet speeds in rural areas is to obtain a leased line.

Leased lines can be used for several purposes, one of which is to access the internet. They are commonly used by corporate offices but can be obtained in households as well.

Several characteristics of leased lines make them ideal for creating a faster internet connection.

First, leased lines are dedicated. This means that the line is solely used by the person or entity who leases it. Since the connection is not shared, no outside users will slow the connection.

Secondly, leased lines are considered symmetric. This means that data can be uploaded just as quickly as it can be downloaded. 

Leased lines provide faster upload and download speeds. They also avoid the problem of connections that slow down during peak usage times. They are more reliable than most common broadband connections.

Leased lines do cost more than typical broadband internet service, so if your family is on a tight budget, this may not be the solution for your household. Still, they provide an excellent solution to the problem of slow broadband speeds.

Dual Broadband Lines

Another effective way to tackle the problem of slow broadband internet speeds in rural areas is to obtain dual broadband lines.

When multiple users depend on the same internet line, the service can become sluggish, which is frustrating for everyone in the household.

To avoid this problem, you can sign up for an internet plan that bundles multiple lines. Because different internet users are working with separate lines, the bottleneck effect that often lows internet connectivity is avoided.

There are several types of dual broadband lines available.

  • Fibre broadband bonding

  • Dual/multi-WAN router with failover capabilities

  • Dual/multi-WAN router with load balancing capabilities

Besides providing you access to faster internet speeds, dual broadband ensures that your connection does not vanish if one of the lines crashes. This is especially important for a business or home office.

What Broadband Services Are Available in Rural Areas?

In rural areas of the UK, there are six main broadband services you can obtain.

  • Standard broadband. This form of internet connection is carried through copper phone wires. It is the most widely available form of connection.

  • Fibre broadband. This internet connection utilizes fibre optic cables. It is the most rapid connection available in most areas.

  • Satellite broadband. This form of internet connection is beamed to a satellite dish installed on your property.

  • Fixed wireless broadband. This connection is broadcast wirelessly to households through a mast and receiver. Fixed wireless is usually provided by a particular community or village.

  • Mobile broadband. Users access this connection through a wireless router or a SIM card that can be inserted into any mobile device or laptop. It taps into a 4G mobile phone data network.

  • Bonded broadband. This service fuses multiple lines to create a faster single line.

Note that not all of these services will be available in every area.

Truespeed, B4RN, Airband, and Gigaclear are all companies that provide broadband internet access in rural areas of the UK.


Why Is Wifi Slow in Rural Areas?

While the situation has improved in recent years, many rural areas still suffer from sluggish internet connections.

Internet speeds slow down the further they get from the nearest exchange. Since many rural households are a considerable distance from the closest hub, their internet speed is less than ideal.

In addition, the internet providers in some rural areas do not yet offer fast fibre connections, which are much speedier than the traditional systems that rely on copper wires. 

Do Wifi Boosters Work in Rural Areas?

WIFI boosters can often improve internet speeds in rural areas. They work by amplifying the signal, extending coverage and speeding it up.

Is Mobile Broadband a Good Solution for Slow Internet Speeds in Rural Areas?

Mobile broadband can dramatically increase your internet speed, assuming your area receives strong 3G or 4G coverage. 

Unfortunately, many rural areas that do not yet have access to fast fibre connections and suffer from slow internet speeds are also areas that struggle with spotty or weak cellular service. In these cases, mobile broadband will be little if any better than the current internet connections.

Who Provides Broadband Service in Rural Areas of the UK?

Several companies provide broadband service in rural areas of the UK. Among them are Truespeed, B4RN, Airband, and Gigaclear.

However, note that not every provider is available in every rural area. Also, not every form of internet connection will be available in every area.