With mobile data prices coming down and increasing coverage, 4G home broadband is a realistic and immediate possibility for many rural areas. Coverage in Cumbria is better than most people realise and can be checked on the Ofcom site: https://checker.ofcom.org.uk/mobile-coverage In our parish most of our fibre broadband not spots can be reached by a mobile signal from either EE or Three.
You will need a 4G router and probably an antenna installed on the outside of the house. At the moment only EE offers a bespoke 4G home broadband package – see https://business.ee.co.uk/mobile-broadband/4g-home-broadband/ otherwise it’s a relatively easy DIY job – which will offer more flexibility and the equipment could be purchased for less than £200. Do this and your speeds will be comparable with those areas getting fibre to the cabinet. This is an immediately available option.
The second option is to consider a Community Fibre Partnership (CFP) where the community gets together and approach a provider about the cost of delivering better broadband. Much of the cost of this can be covered by the Gigabit Voucher Scheme provided certain conditions are met, notably that it must be a full fibre scheme (FTTP) and everyone in it has to take a service which delivers at least 100 mb/s for a year (min).
A third option – using satellite Broadband – has been around a while now. There are disadvantages of cost, data caps and time delays but this may the only way to go for very isolated areas with no 4G signal.
If you get less than 2 Mb/s currently, you can still apply for a voucher under the better Broadband Scheme for up to £350 to improve your speed BUT you’ll have to be quick as the scheme will close at the end of the year. See http://www.connectingcumbria.org/BDUK-Better-Broadband.asp