THE BLOG
03/09/2013 10:00 BST | Updated 03/11/2013 05:12 GMT

Superfast Broadband on Planes? What About Here on the Ground First Please?

Broadband, which is fast becoming the fourth household essential, is becoming even more integral to our daily lives - and not just at home. Ofcom has launched a consultation dubbed 'Earth Stations on Mobile Platforms' which could eventually see broadband speeds increase tenfold on aircraft travelling in the skies above the UK.

The fact that broadband is considered an essential to those on an 8 hour flight - whether for business or pleasure - is a testament to how much of a necessity broadband is today.

If Ofcom allows the use of the new satellite technology that enables these super-fast speeds in Britain, it'll also speed things up on trains and ships too. Soon there'll be no excuse to leave those work emails hanging...

For those who have ever tried to use Wi-Fi on a plane or train, I've no doubt you'll be jumping around in the aisles at the mere suggestion of super-fast broadband on super-fast transport. That's if this page has even loaded of course.

But what about those with their feet firmly on the ground?

While Earth Stations on Mobile Platforms is paving the way for broadband users in the sky, on rail, or at sea, broadband is still a thorn in the side of UK home internet users who, even in late 2013, are STILL enduring woefully slow speeds in some areas of the country.

Spare a thought for those in Castle Vale, not far from Birmingham, who - in March this year - were averaging broadband download speeds of just 2.2Mbps. At that speed it would take 11 excruciating hours to download a BluRay film.

We've all heard the stories of frustrated customers who've waited an hour just to download a bank statement. Those who do a hard day's work, only to come home and find that they are unable to catch up on their favourite TV show because their speeds are too slow for streaming.

Clearly, before Ofcom starts focusing on super-fast speeds on transport, it needs to address the most basic of consumer needs by seeing that broadband on terra firma is vastly improved - particularly in remote rural areas that get ignored.

And, if satellite broadband is an avenue the Government is willing to pursue, then would it really be out of the question to give more customers the option of satellite broadband where there is little or no infrastructure for copper or fibre broadband? Of course, this would have to be a cost effective measure, but if it meant better, faster broadband, it could be a welcome solution.