Are you familiar with the term ‘Internet Notspot’?

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In Europe, many rural areas are considered Internet Notspots. Places where reliable Internet access is hard to find or unreliable.
Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

In today’s connected world, where technology reigns supreme, it’s hard to imagine that there are still places in Europe devoid of the digital web. Yet, these places exist, known as ‘Internet notspots’ (sometimes called whitespots). Let’s delve into this intriguing phenomenon that unveils corners of Europe where connectivity remains challenging.

What is an ‘Internet notspot’ in Europe?

Internet notspots in Europe refer to geographical regions where access to the Internet is limited or sometimes non-existent. These places are often remote, challenging to reach, or may face geographical constraints that make establishing communication infrastructure a daunting task.

How does an Internet notspot form in Europe?

Geographical Distance:

Far from urban centres, remote regions in Europe can become notspots due to prohibitive costs associated with extending Internet infrastructure. For example, even in big cities like Paris and London, notspots can occur. How? These are ancient cities where digging new trenches for fibre optic cables is expensive or impossible.

Natural Constraints:

Obstacles such as mountains, dense forests, or bodies of water can create challenging areas, leaving residents without reliable internet access.

Economic Challenges:

Notspots in Europe may also face economic challenges, as the investment required to establish Internet connectivity may not be economically viable for operators. Setting up the necessary infrastructure to expand connectivity in these areas demands significant investment in hardware, a specialised workforce, and data transmission equipment.

Consequences of Internet notspots in Europe

Digital Isolation:

Residents in these European areas may experience digital isolation, depriving them of the benefits of modern connectivity, access to information, and online opportunities.

Economic challenges:

People living or working in notspots in Europe may also encounter economic challenges, as the lack of access to reliable Internet can hinder economic development and access to European markets.

Quest for solutions in Europe:

Innovative Technologies:

Innovative technologies, such as satellites and stratospheric balloons, are being explored to connect these remote areas of Europe.

Government Initiatives:

Some European governments are implementing initiatives to bring the Internet to these areas, recognising the importance of connectivity for social and economic development in Europe.

No network can achieve 100% coverage

Attaining 100% coverage remains an elusive goal for fixed network operators. Certain operators address coverage gaps through alternative solutions, such as Fixed Wireless Access (FWA: a telecommunications technology that provides high-speed Internet access to fixed locations or stationary devices through radio waves, without the need for physical cables or traditional wired infrastructure, especially in areas where fibre optic infrastructure is unavailable.

Despite continuous advancements, achieving universal coverage is still elusive. Access to multiple backup mobile networks can enhance the likelihood of maintaining connectivity, 

Ottie: A step towards universal connectivity in Europe

At Ottie, we believe in a world where connectivity knows no boundaries. We explore innovative solutions to extend reliable Internet access, even in the most remote areas of Europe. Ottie, with its ability to automatically switch between networks to attach to the strongest one available, could be the answer to providing more reliable connectivity where it is lacking in Europe.

Concluding this exploration in Europe

Internet notspots in Europe are more than just a geographical phenomenon. They underscore the need to advance universal connectivity, even on our continent.

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