Home-broadbandThe Countryside Alliance has teamed up with the technology company Actual Experience and its BbFix Project, which aims to improve the experience of using the internet for consumers all over the world. Supporters are asked to download the BbFix software which will identify problems with broadband and diagnose the cause of that problem, whether it’s your service provider, the website being visited or a problem with your home or office, for example a poorly sited wifi router, thick walls or a problem with your computer. Download the software here. A diagnosis will be available within a few weeks. It is interesting to note that 100% of government broadband funding goes to improving local infrastructure, yet infrastructure only accounts for 30% of problems. 

With the Government’s ambition for us all to go ‘digital by default’ the problem of broadband coverage and speed has long been a contentious issue, particularly for those who live and work in the countryside.However, for many internet users the experience could be improved by simply understanding what is causing slow or patchy performance.

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.

This programme has been set up to help us to understand just how people’s broadband services are performing. This will help us work with providers and the Government to make improvements where we can, so that households can experience a better and more consistent service. We have partnered with Actual Experience to do this. Actual Experience is a UK company that works with business and consumers to improve the quality of Internet and other digital services everywhere.

How does BbFix® work?

BbFix is simple and straightforward to use. All you need to do is select your operating system (windows, Mac OS X and Linux – please note an iOS and Android version of BbFix is planned for the new year), sign-up and get started.

Actual Experience’s BbFix will inform home users of how well their broadband is performing and help them, providers and others make it better. By signing up, we will give you a real-time view of how well your connection can support popular Internet services and you will become part of a growing community helping us, broadband providers and regulators improve the performance of Internet services for everyone.

We will be using your results, along with thousands of others, to help make people’s experience better, wherever they are. The results will be used in work for the Countryside Alliance to help us better understand our members’ broadband performance.

What do I need to do to sign up?

To participate you need to download a small piece of simple software to your laptop or PC from the registration pagehttp://www.actual-experience.com/countryside-alliance and then allow the software to run on your laptop or PC.

Only your e-mail address and post code are required to be entered during the registration process so that we and Actual Experience can identify the location of the software. The whole process will take only a couple of minutes.

Once your PC or laptop is switched on, the software will run in the background. Actual Experience will analyse your broadband whilst your PC or laptop is switched on.

The software does not record, capture or transmit any information about you, or the things you use your computer or broadband connection for.

If you have any questions or queries about the Countryside Alliance’s work to improve broadband services, or about Actual Experience, please contact [email protected] or [email protected]

The Actual Experience software uses strong cryptographic software that is controlled by export control laws in the UK. This software can be downloaded and installed in the UK and Ireland.