A SHEDFIELD headmaster suffered through three years of cripplingly slow landline broadband well below the national minimum standard of 10Mbps.

James Polansky and his family found themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide which significantly impacted both their personal and professional lives. 

A fibre-based solution to his broadband issues was not an option for James’s property.

Due to its location, not only was his home too far away from a streetside cabinet but it was also serviced by old copper lines, with both these factors meaning that his landline was just not usable to supply higher speed internet connectivity. As might be expected, his neighbours also experience similar problems. 

According to Ofcom there are more than 1,000 homes in the Winchester City Council area with no access to national minimum standard broadband speeds.

The impact of almost unusable broadband speeds had on James and his family’s lives was profound. As headmaster at the Boundary Oak School, the pandemic completely turned his working life upside down and massively increased his reliance on his home broadband service. 

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The frustratingly slow broadband speeds that James experienced while at home meant that he was frequently forced to travel into school to take part in important video meetings, host classes via Zoom and complete other simple online tasks.

His provider at the time, EE, attempted to supply a solution to his broadband woes.

However, within weeks of installing this, the connection fell back to previous speeds and James and family were again left struggling with intermittent and slow broadband. 

By now, James was desperate for a solution and found rural broadband specialists National Broadband. The rural broadband provider installed a 4G antenna transforming his speeds to well over 20Mbps. 

James said: “We really struggled with our broadband connection for some time and finally having reliable broadband has proved to be a real game changer, not only for me but the whole family. National Broadband provided great advice throughout the whole process and the installation from the antenna to the mesh system was completely seamless.” 

David Hennell, business development director at National Broadband, said: “The provision of fast and reliable broadband to rural communities is all too often overlooked, leaving many families like the Polansky family forced to look for alternative solutions. This 'Digital Divide' has a major real-world impact on people - if a home or business has no access to a good internet connection, such disadvantage is going to be genuinely damaging to those affected.”