Connectivity in rural areas of Britain remains an issue as the cost of infrastructure is not viable for the amount of usage. This leaves many people and premises across the UK without access to broadband or with very limited bandwidth.
The people of the Isle of Arran in Scotland are part of the 8% of the population in the UK who do not have access to broadband faster than 10Mbps. The sparse housing locations and tough environmental and geographic conditions make traditional connectivity very challenging. A lack of workable broadband has hampered economic growth and innovation, making it less attractive for the younger generation to stay on the island.
Together with partners Microsoft, Broadway Partners and Adaptrum, we are helping to connect the residents of Arran with the first commercial use of wireless TV white space technology. Residents are now accessing speeds of 15Mbps, allowing them to run businesses, connect with family members across the globe and have access to modern online services. A backbone of connectivity is now opening up the island to a new a set of IoT services such as telehealth applications to help support the most vulnerable.