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Satellite broadband provider reports 'increased interest' in government scheme

Friday, March 11th 2016 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

More and more people are turning to subsidised satellite broadband schemes to get online, a specialist provider has claimed.

Satellite Internet said it has seen a growing level of interest in the government’s Basic Broadband For All programme, which aims to provide an affordable service of at least 2Mbps to all UK premises.

Under the scheme, homes and businesses in remote areas are given contributions from the government towards the cost of installing satellite broadband services. Customers then pay the monthly service charges themselves.

The scheme has been criticised for only signing up a small number of customers, with shadow digital minister Chi Onwurah branding it an “inadequate stunt” that would leave millions digitally excluded.

But Satellite Internet’s managing director Mike Locke said the scheme is playing a vital role in reaching those premises that the fibre-based rollout simply cannot.

Both schemes are run by the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme and form part of the government’s aim of delivering superfast coverage to 95% of the UK by 2017 and speeds of at least 2Mbps to 100% of the country.

“Despite the nationwide demand for fast connectivity, many properties in the UK still don’t have the most basic broadband speeds, rendering users unable to make full use of the internet,” he said.

'Affordability'

“BDUK’s Basic Broadband For All scheme recognises the importance of satellite internet connectivity in providing an acceptable level of broadband speed to the final 5% – those premises that cannot realistically be served by traditional terrestrial-based broadband delivery technologies.”

Mr Locke said the key advantage of the subsidised satellite scheme is that it is run directly by BDUK, unlike the fibre rollout that is delivered through regional authorities.

“This allows us to deliver broadband services to eligible premises at the most affordable level to the consumer and it is this affordability that is now attracting an increasing level of interest,” he added.

Satellite Internet partners with SES Techcom Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of satellite operator SES, to deliver high-speed satellite broadband services across the UK and Ireland.

It is offering customers a 20Mbps service with 10GB of monthly data through the Basic Broadband For All scheme.

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