Spotlight on Vulnerability - Broadband Edition (April 2019)

Welcome to the latest newsletter from the Rural Vulnerability Service - brought to you by the Rural Services Network and the Rural England CIC in association with Calor.

The vulnerability service aims to disseminate information about three key rural issues: fuel poverty, broadband and rural transport.

This newsletter focuses on the availabilty of broadband across rural areas.

Latest updates:

Automatic compensation for broadband users goes live

1 April 2019

Five UK broadband and landline providers will now automatically compensate customers when services do not work. (BBC Online)

Britons get 'bad deal' from broadband giants

25 March 2019

Britons who get their broadband from the UK's biggest suppliers are "most likely" to be getting a bad deal. (Source: BBC Online)

Best & worst broadband providers 2019

25 March 2019

The latest Which? broadband satisfaction survey reveals the broadband providers most likely to disappointed customers. (Which?)

Broadband customers can now leave penalty-free

1 March 2019

Broadband providers will have to tell customers how fast their internet speed is supposed to be, before they sign a contract, thanks to new Ofcom rules. (This is Money)

£3m programme to connect rural primary schools

26 February 2019

More than 100 rural primary schools across England are set to get gigabit-capable broadband connections within the next few months. (Source: Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport)

Mobile and broadband boost for consumers

15 February 2019

The government has set out new priorities for telecoms regulator Ofcom to improve mobile coverage, broadband investment, and a better deal for consumers. (Source: Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport)

Government cash to connect remote rural businesses

1 March 2019

Businesses set in Suffolk’s most rural backwaters are set to get superfast broadband access thanks a £1.725m government windfall. (Source: EADT)

Plan to increase full fibre broadband cover

7 March 2019

Cambridgeshire County Council has set an “ambitious new target” to achieve over 30% coverage of Gigabit speed full fibre coverage. (Source: ISP Review)

BT advert banned over broadband speed claims

27 February 2019

BT has been ordered not to run an ad which claimed that its broadband package featured the “UK’s most powerful wifi”. (Source: The Independent)

Rural broadband firm doubles workforce

5 March 2019

A broadband company which connects rural and hard to reach communities has expanded its workforce and moved to new premises. (Source: Worcester News)

TalkTalk partnership to offer adaptive WiFi kit

12 February 2019

TalkTalk has teamed up with Plume to offer broadband customers a new cloud-coordinated WiFi which it claims could improve the signal’s coverage, stability and speed. (Source: ISP Review)

Tax relief for internet firms to install fibre

24 March 2019

Internet companies will get 100% rates relief from the Scottish Government to install fibre broadband across Scotland. (Source: News & Star)

From worst broadband in UK to the best

20 March 2019

A broadband provider claims it has transformed a static mobile homes site on the edge of Cheltenham from having the worst broadband in the UK to the best. (Source: Gloucestershire Live)

Broadband provider launches £3m crowdfunding initiative

1 March 2019

Rural community broadband organisation B4RN – which provides some of the fastest internet speeds in the world – has launched a £3m crowdfunding initiative. (Lancaster Guardian)

Gigabit broadband voucher scheme boost for Wales

22 March 2019

The UK’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme is to be given a boost thanks to a new partnership between the Welsh and UK Governments. (Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport)

Sponsored by Calor, the Rural Vulnerability Service is a FREE information service brought to you by the Rural England Community Interest Company in association with the Rural Services Network.

Calor was set up 80 years ago with the intention of bringing clean, efficient and modern energy to rural Britain. This focus continues today with 75% of Calor's business in the British countryside. Calor recognises the need to address climate change and energy efficiency and so has introduced bioLPG to the UK market in 2018, the first LPG supplier to do so. BioLPG requires no changes to the customer’s appliances, it just reduces carbon emissions by up to 80% and burns just as cleanly as fossil LPG.

Furthermore, Calor’s transport solution – LPG Autogas – can deliver significant air quality and environmental benefits, and at around half the cost of petrol and diesel benefits the hard-pressed motorist too. Over 150,000 motorists already benefit from this cleaner and affordable fuel, which is available from over 1,400 refuelling stations across Britain.


Articles in this newsletter are included for information only and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Rural Services Network, Rural England CIC or Calor.

Reports and Publications:

For reports & publications on fuel poverty, click here

For reports & publications on rural broadband, click here

For reports & publications on rural transport, click here

National Statistics:

For UK National Statistics on fuel poverty, click here

For UK National Statistics on rural transport, click here

For UK National Statistics on rural broadband, click here

Useful links:
Fuel Poverty:

Citizens Advice
End Fuel Poverty Coalition
Energy UK
Committee on Fuel Poverty
Health Housing & Fuel
   Poverty Forum

National Energy Action


Broadband for the Rural North
Broadband Delivery UK
Rural Broadband Partnership
Dept Culture, Media & Sport
Independent Networks Cooperative Association (INCA)

Citizens Advice
Campaign for Better Transport
Community Transport Ass'n
CPRE - Transport campaign
Department for Transport
Plunkett Foundation
Transport for Quality of Life

How to save local buses
Guide for those wishing to save local buses from cuts
Buses in crisis
How rural communities have been most damaged by cuts
Integrated transport
How to integrate transport into new developments (pdf)
Transport e-Bulletin
Sign up for regular transport news and campaigns


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