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All about broadband

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Access to superfast broadband is critical to support thriving and vibrant communities, as well as an enterprising and sustainable economy.

We believe broadband access to be so important to the national park that we have incorporated it into the National Park Management Plan. It has also been endorsed by Business Peak District, which has identified broadband as one of its core objectives.

What is broadband?

Broadband is an Internet connection that uses a number of frequencies or bandwidths to transfer information and data. Broadband is easier and faster to use than the traditional dial-up connection (using a telephone and modem) as information can be sent and received much more quickly.

Leader logoLarge volumes of information are carried at high speed to your computer. This means that websites, photos, TV, music, phone calls and videos can all be experienced in real-time.

Broadband can be provided in one of three ways:

  • over a phone line
  • via cable
  • via satellite.

Why is broadband useful?

Broadband has many advantages for the home and office:

  • the connection to the Internet is always on, so you can have constant access
  • you don't connect using your telephone, so you can make telephone calls and use the internet
  • you can take advantage of instant messaging and online high-speed interactive games
  • you can receive uninterrupted real-time services, such as radio, video and phone calls.

Normally, you pay a standard monthly fee for unlimited internet access, and you are not charged for the time you spend on the Internet. There are certain broadband products now that also offer pay-as-you-go access.

Broadband can make using the Internet in the home or office much easier, faster and more efficient. It also means that working from home is easier thanks to the high speeds that broadband can offer.

What are the options?

Fixed line broadband (ADSL) is the most common form of broadband within the Peak District, although alternative broadband technologies are in operation.

Most exchanges in the Peak District currently provide a maximum of 8Mbps, which decreases the further you are from the telephone exchange. However, from 2015 to 2017 many exchanges and surrounding infrastructure will be upgraded to provide superfast speeds.

How fast is fast?

The theoretical speed, or bandwidth at which users can send and receive information, is measured in Megabits per second of data transferred. This is often abbreviated to Mbps. Speeds are dependent on the type of network infrastructure to which they are connected. For fixed connections, it is also dependent on the distance they are from a telephone exchange.

  • Broadband is an internet connection rated at 2 Mbps download or faster.
  • Superfast broadband is an Internet connection rated at 24 Mbps download or faster.
  • Ultrafast broadband is an Internet connection rated at 80 Mbps download or faster.
Number of simultaneous users Send an email or download and submit an online form Make a high quality video call (e.g. Skype) Stream video in SDTV (e.g. watch BBC iPlayer) Stream video in HDTV
1 < 1 Mbps < 1.5 Mbps 2 Mbps 6–8 Mbps
2 < 1 Mbps < 3 Mbps 2–4 Mbps 12–16 Mbps
3 < 1 Mbps < 4–5 Mbps 3–6 Mbps 18–24 Mbps
4 < 1 Mbps < 6 Mbps 4–8 Mbps 24–32 Mbps

(Source: Industry reports, Policy Exchange analysis)

What about broadband in the Peak District?

Find out about broadband in the Peak District National Park and an idea of what speed you can expect to receive.

Confused by all the jargon?

Read our jargon buster for a plain English explanation of the most common terms and abbreviations.

Broadband events

Business Peak District, in partnership with local authority partners, organised a series of events during 2012 and 2013 for rural residents, businesses and communities, who were interested in developing a local high-speed broadband solution. See the presentations from these events.

This work was supported through LEADER in the Peak District Rural Action Zone, part of the Rural Development Programme for England, which is jointly funded by Defra and the European Union and is delivered by Derbyshire Economic Partnership.

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