Rural broadband deals

Getting a good internet connection in rural areas, even in a relatively developed country like the UK, can be tricky. Thankfully, there are different rural broadband providers to choose from. If you live in the countryside or are moving out, we'll provide you with the best rural broadband deals.

List of rural broadband deals


Key points of rural broadband

  • The average internet speed in urban areas in the UK is more than double what users get in some rural parts of the country. However, the internet speed in some rural parts of the UK is comparable to that of urban areas.
  • The UK government is making significant investments to enhance broadband access in remote parts of the country. This year alone, the government has committed over £700 million to its broadband expansion initiative, demonstrating its dedication to improving rural connectivity.
  • Depending on your location and the broadband provider you choose, there’s a promising potential for excellent internet speeds in the countryside. Use our broadband postcode checker to explore the broadband providers available in your area and compare their speeds.

Why is rural broadband so slow?

The main reasons for the slow speeds in rural areas of the UK include users’ relative distance from the phone exchange (for standard ADSL connections) and lack of infrastructure (for fibre broadband).

Due to the distance from city centres, it is also more expensive for broadband providers to install and maintain state-of-the-art internet infrastructure in rural areas. This expense is one of the main reasons for slow internet speeds in remote areas where outdated technology like copper phone lines may still be in use. Copper phone lines, while reliable, have limited capacity and can't support the fastest high-speed internet technology. Several providers in the UK have announced plans to phase out copper phone lines entirely and switch to fibre-optic cables, which offer the fastest internet speeds.

The weather and other environmental factors also contribute to slow rural internet speeds. For example, heavy snow, rains, and floods can damage internet infrastructure, leading to slower internet connections and disruptions in rural areas. Additionally, the remote nature of some of these locations makes it expensive for broadband companies to provide regular maintenance and repairs, further exacerbating the issue.

Broadband types in rural areas

A wide range of broadband services are available in rural areas, offering you options.

  • ADSL broadband. ADSL is the most common type of broadband connection available. Also known as standard broadband, ADSL uses copper phone lines to connect homes to the internet. ADSL is widely considered the slowest and cheapest broadband option.
  • Standard fibre broadband. Standard fibre broadband (Fibre-to-the-Cabinet or FTTC) provides internet with fibre optic cables and traditional copper wires. The fibre optic cables bring internet signals from the exchange to a street cabinet near your home. The signal then transfers via copper phone lines. This setup allows for faster internet speeds compared to ADSL broadband. However, because it transmits data via phone lines, it can get relatively slow if you are far from a street cabinet.
  • Full fibre broadband. Full fibre broadband (Fibre-to-the-Premises or FTTP) delivers internet directly to your home or office via fibre optic cables. Full fibre broadband offers the fastest Internet connection because it doesn't go through copper wires and cabinets. Although full-fibre broadband is not widely available in rural areas, it is currently the most reliable option. Most providers that offer 5G broadband deals use full-fibre connections.
  • Fixed wireless broadband. Fixed wireless broadband uses radio signals to transmit data between two fixed points. Providers typically install a wireless transmitter on a mast or somewhere high, like a church spire. From this point, data transmits to a receiver installed in your home or office. The receiving device is usually connected to or integrated with a Wi-Fi router, providing a Wi-Fi connection to devices. Fixed wireless broadband offers high-speed internet access and is one of the best internet options for rural areas where it is available.
  • Mobile broadband. Mobile broadband delivers wireless internet via cellular networks. It is ideal for rural areas because it requires no additional infrastructure. There are loads of mobile broadband deals from different providers. Mobile broadband offers the same network your phone uses, like 3G, 4G, and 5G. All you'll need is solid mobile phone reception in your area.
  • Satellite broadband. Satellite broadband provides internet via a satellite dish connecting to a satellite orbiting the Earth. Though expensive, satellite broadband technology can provide internet access anywhere worldwide as long as there's a clear line of sight to the satellite. Satellite internet is reliable and ideal for rural areas without broadband infrastructure.

How to improve broadband speed in rural areas?

Broadband speed in rural areas is typically slower than in more densely-populated urban centres, but there are ways to improve internet speed in the countryside.

  • Test for faults. Faults with internet cables or routers are some of the main reasons for slow internet speeds. There could be interferences with the wires in your house. It may also be that the fault is coming from connections to the exchange point. It's best to have an expert inspect your installation for faults.

Before upgrading or getting a new router, try changing the position of your router. Poor positioning is a common reason for slow internet speed. Placing your router near appliances like TVs and microwaves could interfere with your connection. You need to position your router in an open space area, and the router will work better when placed high up.

  • Change your internet provider. If you've tried different options and still can't improve your internet speed, it could be time to change your broadband provider. Your current internet provider may not have a strong service in your area.

How to get the best broadband for rural areas?

Broadband options in rural areas are considerably more limited than in densely populated cities. However, it's not all bleak; there are still some good options if you live in the countryside. Some broadband service providers cater to remote regions of the country.

We recommend using our postcode checker to find the best broadband deals in your area. Just type in your postcode, and we’ll show you all the providers available near you, along with their broadband speeds.

Which providers offer rural broadband?

Below, we've come up with a brief comparison of some of the most popular rural broadband providers in the UK.

  • BT: BT has the most substantial presence in rural areas thanks to its infrastructure and extensive network of exchanges. This provider offers a range of speeds and rural broadband options, including fibre, standard, and ultra-fast fibre. BT’s fibre network is widely available in rural areas. However, its availability varies depending on location.
  • TalkTalk: TalkTalk offers broadband service in rural areas at various speeds, including standard and fibre options. TalkTalk's fibre network is less extensive than BT's in rural areas. However, TalkTalk is working to expand its coverage in remote areas.
  • Gigaclear: Gigaclear is known for offering high-quality rural internet service. This brand is famous for its speed, which is way faster than its competitors. Gigaclear is an affordable option offering a range of deals, including ultra-fast, full-fibre broadband.
  • Virgin Media: Offers a range of rural broadband deals. Although Virgin Media is in most rural areas, its internet service is not the fastest compared to Gigaclear or BT. Also, it is known for being expensive and more prone to outages than its competitors.
  • Vodafone: Vodafone is a popular broadband provider offering a range of plans in rural areas of the UK. This company provides fast and reliable internet to some of the country's remotest regions. Vodafone offers 3G and 4G broadband deals to people in rural areas. Vodafone is working to expand its reach by delivering over 100 new 4G-enabled cable sites in different locations.
  • Sky: Sky offers broadband internet services in rural areas across the UK. However, its availability depends on location. Although Sky's reach in rural areas is limited, it is constantly extending its coverage. Sky also offers a range of internet speeds, including ultra-fast fibre and standard options.
  • Plusnet: Plusnet delivers reliable, fast broadband to customers in rural areas. Plusnet is an ideal provider for very heavy internet users. Plusnet is also affordable, offering a range of deals and broadband types, including full fibre, standard fibre, and ADSL.
  • EE: EE has extensive rural internet coverage. This operator's 4G broadband network reaches more than 500,000 homes in the country, mainly in rural areas. EE provides customers in rural areas of the country with ultra-fast broadband speeds. It is famous for its 4G EE home router and antenna, which ensures a steady, fast internet supply.

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