Expert insights

Your event broadband issues might have been solved…

11 May 2017

Mobile coverage and Broadband Internet speeds will improve across the country, making rural events more practical.

Prepare to take your events off the beaten track. The government has announced that £440m is to be invested in helping rural areas access fast broadband of 24Mb per second. The move to extend the network has been welcomed by the British Hospitality Association, which has said that online connectivity in remote areas will help hotels, restaurants and other businesses improve their operations and enhance customer experience.

The Broadband struggle

At the moment, about 1.4million premises remain unable to get broadband speeds of more than 10Mb per second. This is the bare minimum needed for day-to-day needs and therefore is inadequate for events with large number of delegates. Countryside regions are particularly disadvantaged, limiting the options for event organisers who want a venue with room to roam.

The investment to improve services is being delivered as part of the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme. It is funded in part by the Internet subscriptions of other businesses that have previously benefited from the scheme. BDUK plans to equip 95% of the UK with super quick connection speeds by December this year.

On the agenda

It’s worth nothing that in the UK, the broadband infrastructure is owned by BT Openreach. In March 2017, the communications regulator Ofcom demanded that BT separate itself from the Openreach division, to guarantee a fair deal for other Internet providers. However, all parties insist the plan to pep up the connection speeds in hard-to-reach areas will still go ahead.

Mobile coverage might improve too

In another boost to business, the Spring Budget 2017 indicated that we could soon have better mobile reception across the country too. Chancellor Phillip Hammond pledged £16m towards a 5G hub that will turbocharge our coverage – making downloads and messaging, much quicker.

Both upgrades will benefit business travel and events, not least because the industry is in the grip of a tech revolution. High-tech hotels, live-streaming of events and personalised online booking are just some of the ways that the industry is utilising connectivity and the Internet of Things.

Event checklist

Unsurprisingly, one Capita Travel and Events event director included checking the infrastructure at a venue as one of her top priorities when organising a techie event. Struggling to get online? Find out how to boost your WiFi.

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