Better coverage and higher speeds drive 4G uptake in rural households

Rural Internet users are increasingly opting for a 4G connection over a fixed-line broadband service as it offers better coverage in certain areas despite the fact that monthly usage cannot exceed 15GB.

Related: UK government’s £10m rural broadband fund open for business from 17 March

A report from PC Pro states that scores of users have taken advantage of the increased availability of 4G connections meaning it is a better option than a fixed line, especially when the Internet isn’t used for large amounts of video streaming.

“If you don’t do video streaming often, then it’s an option and we are seeing people switch to using 4G, especially in some areas where ADSL speed isn’t very good. There are definitely people doing it – it’s just not in the millions yet,” said Andrew Ferguson, network expert at thinkbroadband.com.

It isn’t just dongles that households are opting for either with a number of people buying full 4G routers in order to allow the connection to be used by each member of the house.

"They've done a speed test and realised that the 4G is faster than what they had, so people are buying the dongles and people are buying full 4G routers, not just the little MiFi devices," said Ferguson. "With a full 4G router you get better capability and it can handle more users in a house with lots of people on multiple devices."

Heavy users, however, will be completely put off by the fact that Three currently offers the highest amount of capacity at 15GB per month, which is far lower than the UK average usage of 35GB per month, according to Talk Talk.

Related: 3G vs 4G primer: What are the major differences?

The increased uptake of 4G in hard-to-reach areas could well be a stop gap whilst the government continues to rollout super-fast broadband to rural areas through its Broadband Delivery UK initiative that is worth £1.2 billion and will cover 95 per cent of the country by 2017.