I hope you didn’t move out to rural Shropshire on the back of Advantage West Midlands’ subsidy of rural broadband. It’s about to be unplugged, according to press reports.

“Millions of pounds have been dished out by the regional development agency to private contractors to build the network, but there was no thought for how running costs were to be met.” […] Shropshire’s problems are reflected across Britain, either in rural communities or where the existing phone lines are of poor quality. A report detailing exactly where the ‘dead zones’ exist in the broadband network will be released in the next few weeks by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, but Government figures say that one in ten households — about two million homes — are not able to access broadband.”

I have several rural relatives (although not in Shropshire) who are still on the old 56k/s dial-up speed. It’s something I try to keep in mind when creating web content, even if it can’t always be done something about. One in ten of the population is a significant chunk of the market to ignore, though — especially so if you’re making games and software that require an always-on internet connection. I hear that the rural U.S. has similar problems.