Online businesses in rural parts of the country have been rejoicing in the last few weeks as news has emerged that Fujitsu, a global provider of IT services and products, will soon be delivering superfast broad band to the rolling green countryside of the UK. The news comes as a huge relief to small and medium sized businesses who have been struggling to live with the sluggish broadband currently on offer.
The problem is that rural homes and businesses at the moment, for the most part, can only receive FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) broadband which relies on existing cables and infrastructures to deliver a service, and with rural exchanges further from homes than in urban areas, the speeds just never get anywhere near the ‘superfast’ promise current service provides offer.
Fujitsu hopes to use part of a government fund set aside to improve rural broadband, by offering all the local authorities who have the fund at their disposal a single reliable source for this service. They feel that this would help the network be more manageable and avoid there being dozens of fragmented networks patch worked across the country.
If they are successful in their bid for the contract, Fujitsu will use FTTH (fibre to the home) technology and pump fibre optic cabling directly into rural homes, which will offer broadband speeds of up to 1Gbps. They can use the current BT infrastructure to deliver this as BT has been forced to open up to competitors. The only problem is with the price that BT is planning to charge to allow providers to use their poles and existing pipes and cables.
If this does go ahead, and the government really hopes it will, this could open up the rural business sector and allow it to compete with inner city business. There is also the hope that this could give the UK business sector such a big boost that it could help lift the whole of the UK out of its economic slump.
If you are an online business you must be licking your lips. Likewise this will be a major boost for the payment service provider industry. More rural online businesses will mean more ecommerce stores looking for fast reliable payment processing to benefit them and their customers. Or if you are tired of your smoggy inner city commute and queuing outside the local sandwich shop, then the idea that you could move your business, or at least part of your business, to a leafy hillside and not have your online services suffer, may well be something you could do in the near future.
Hooray for Fujitsu!