EE, part of BT Group, has unveiled a new 4G home broadband product which could connect 580,000 homes across the UK, especially those in rural areas that are currently only able to access broadband slower than 10Mbps.
Customer trials in the Northern Fells area of Cumbria have delivered speeds of over 100Mbps.
Many homes in rural Cumbria currently can only get limited broadband access, and EE, working with the Northern Fells Broadband initiative, has worked to trial the service with users in the area.
Max Taylor, managing director of marketing, EE said: “As our network continues to expand into some of the most remote parts of the UK, we’ve seen the amazing impact that 4G connectivity can have on rural communities.
“Our newest 4G home broadband router and antenna takes this one step further, ensuring thousands of families in rural areas across the UK could enjoy the benefits of superfast broadband inside their home for the very first time – whether video-calling the grandparents or streaming their favourite TV series.”
Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and The Border said: “What EE is doing is transformative. One of the real challenges is getting fixed fibre into people’s houses because they are so sparsely populated in rural areas.
“The great thing about EE’s new solution though is that it’s wireless – allowing people to get superfast home broadband via 4G.
“As the number of new mobile masts continue to roll out, more and more areas of Cumbria will come online. With access to fast broadband, people’s lives really will be transformed”
Mal Hilton, chairman, Northern Fells Broadband said: “This new service from EE is going to help households in some of the most isolated areas of Cumbria; areas where residents simply cannot and may never receive fibre connectivity.
“It is going to radically change the lives of people in this community. With fast and reliable home internet for the very first time, they can now function like everybody else in the UK.”
Sarah Lee, head of policy at the Countryside Alliance, said: “Fast and reliable internet is just as essential in the countryside as it is in urban areas, but unfortunately it is not currently as widely available.
“This is a major issue for everyday life at home – students rely on a decent internet for research, parents need to bank online and thousands of rural families are missing out on a wealth of on-demand entertainment.
“We welcome this innovative 4G solution from EE and believe it will have a big impact on some of the most remote communities across the UK.”