Three UK and the Countryside Alliance have announced a partnership that’ll see them working with local MPs and campaign groups to help get people online in rural areas where broadband is poor or non-existent.
The Rural Broadband Working Group plans to give away dongles and wireless ‘MiFi’ devices along with almost 4 million MB of mobile broadband access.
In its first phase of activity, the group aims to identify eleven rural communities that would benefit from free mobile broadband data for a year. Free public WiFi access will also be provided using MiFi devices in communal areas such as pubs and community centres.
The first village to receive free connectivity is Gringley-on-the-Hill in North Nottinghamshire, which has around 750 inhabitants. It’ll receive around 30 mobile broadband dongles and MiFi devices.
Hugo Dunkley, Chairman of the Gringley-on-the-Hill Parish Council, said “We had written to the House of Lords, our local MP, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and even a large fixed-line provider about the lack of comprehensive broadband in the community, but with no success. There was broadband in a small corner of the village but everywhere else speeds were frustratingly slow. Mobile broadband has addressed this problem and the dongles are allowing the people and businesses of the village to use the Internet to its full potential for the first time.”