Rural_BroadbandDid you know that 100 per cent of Government funding is going into improving local broadband infrastructure, but this issue only accounts for 30 per cent of problems experienced online? That’s why the Countryside Alliance has teamed up with technology company Actual Experience’s BbFix project to help broadband users find answers to their problems.

Broadband coverage and speed have long been contentious issues, especially in rural areas. However for many internet users, their experience could be improved by simply understanding what is causing them to have slow or patchy coverage. 

BbFix crowd sources data which will help some users to fix their broadband at home, fix problems with their provider and improve the internet experience for everyone. All the user needs to do is download a small piece of software onto their desk top computer or laptop and it will identify the cause of their slow or inconsistent broadband.

“The importance of broadband to rural households and businesses cannot be overestimated with many deeming it an essential service, alongside water, electricity and gas, yet there is still a marked digital divide between areas,” said Sarah Lee, head of campaigns at the Countryside Alliance.

“The more people who run the BbFix software the more data is collected about the problems affecting UK internet use and the greater opportunity we have to improve broadband connectivity for all.”

Dave Page, founder of Actual Experience, commented: “This is great news for internet users across the country. For too long people have struggled with poor quality internet without knowing what’s going wrong and what can be done to fix it.

“Now with BbFix, we can all investigate the quality of our connection and take steps to get right changes made. In an astonishing 25 per cent of cases, the source of the problem is an old or misconfigured router, which people can resolve themselves.”

The software is available free to download Follow the onscreen instructions. If you have any questions about the download process, contact [email protected]

For more information, contact the Countryside Alliance press office on 0207 840 9220 or email [email protected]

Note for journalists
• BbFix does not capture any data about the user or their online activity. It tests their connection to six major websites as you they experience it. It rates the quality of that connection out of 100, where 80 is almost perfect, 70 is adequate and 60 is inadequate and highly frustrating.
• Bbfix is the result of 10 years’ research at Queen Mary University, London.
• Actual Experience has been commissioned by Ofcom to provide evidence for their triennial ‘State of the Nation’ report, due out by the end of 2014. The report is expected to highlight the importance of addressing the quality of UK broadband, which in many areas will not be achieved by simply upgrading the speed capacity of the network.
• It is envisaged that data mapping regional internet issues will be available next year