Honeywell's marketing communications manager, Andy Mansfield, says the smart control market is well within reach for rural installers, whatever their local download speeds.

While the government is making some headway when it comes to investing in broadband and mobile networks, some people are still struggling to get online in rural areas. But what happens to smart controls in rural areas, where fast-speed broadband is not always available?

It's common knowledge that smart controls are gaining traction within the industry, and that targeted marketing by some manufacturers is peaking the interests of tech-savvy consumers, too. When there's high customer demand for a product, the sell should be relatively straightforward – all the installer has to do is recommend the product best suited to the job at hand.

When it comes to remote rural areas, however, it's a different story. Connectivity issues mean that it's still an uphill struggle for some installers, who face the added challenge of recommending controls that will stand the test of time as the infrastructure improves. The danger otherwise is that rural customers will miss out on smart heating controls, which can help reduce energy bills and can help save money.

In the short-term, installers should consider recommending entry-level connected thermostats with dual functionality. These products work as normal heating controls, but also provide the option to connect to the internet to become a remotely controllable thermostat – perfect for when connectivity improves.

It's an approach that will future-proof the consumer's investment, while providing potential repeat business when it comes to upgrading the controls.