How Internet Service Providers are Solving the UK’s Digital Divide


Access to reliable internet isn’t a luxury—it’s a common utility that supports education, commerce, and social inclusion. However, there are significant connectivity barriers across the UK, particularly in rural and hard-to-reach areas. These regions often have to endure slower internet speeds and limited access to essential digital services, something commonly known as the ‘Digital Divide’.

Earlier this year, Altnets attended the ISPA UK Parliament & Internet conference. The event discussed ‘Policy Priorities For A Digital Future’ and provided valuable insights into the upcoming trends shaping the UK’s digital environment. A significant focus was placed on the work of internet service providers (ISPs) in helping to tackle the Digital Divide, highlighting the necessity for collaborative industry efforts to promote digital equality.

At Altnets, we are dedicated to closing this gap. Authored by our Technical Director, Leigh Buckwell, we have published an insightful thought leadership article highlighting the barriers towards digital equality, and examining the actions ISPs can take to install and supply full fibre networks for communities sometimes overlooked by larger broadband providers.

Topics covered in the article include:

  • The importance of ISPs in addressing the UK’s Digital Divide
  • Challenges and solutions to building broadband infrastructure in rural and hard-to-reach areas
  • The impact of reliable internet access on education, employment, and economic participation
  • Initiatives from industry experts, such as the Good Things Foundation charity, designed to combat digital poverty
  • How to overcome the hurdle of getting consumers onto full fibre tariffs


The impact of reliable internet extends far beyond connectivity. It enhances educational opportunities, broadens job opportunities, and promotes digital inclusion. But building broadband infrastructure in remote and hard-to-reach areas presents unique challenges — from navigating regulatory complexities to securing permissions and managing logistical hurdles. To support ISPs with such builds, Altnets has been at the forefront of simplifying the procurement processes and securing their supply chains to support timely rollouts.

Digital poverty remains an issue that affects millions of households across the UK. Many families lack the devices or digital skills needed to utilise high-speed internet connections fully. To address this, industry experts like Wildanet and Good Things Foundation have initiated schemes that repurpose unused devices and offer affordable broadband solutions through social tariffs. These efforts aim to bridge the digital divide, ensuring no one is left behind in the digital age.

We extend our sincere thanks to industry experts Dr Emma Stone, Head of Research, Evidence and Engagement at Good Things Foundation, and our client Wildanet for their valuable contributions to this publication. Their insights and collaboration have enriched our understanding of the challenges and opportunities in bridging the Digital Divide, reinforcing our commitment to expanding broadband access and promoting digital inclusion across the UK.

Together, we aim to build a future where geographical barriers no longer limit opportunities, and every community has the tools to thrive in our increasingly digital landscape.

The full article can be viewed here: