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Satellite provider joins extended Welsh broadband scheme

Wednesday, January 13th 2016 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

A recently-extended Welsh Government scheme to help fund satellite broadband for areas without superfast speeds has added a new supplier to its list.

Satellite Internet is one of a number of providers supporting the Access Broadband Cymru (ABC) scheme, which funds or part-funds the installation costs of new superfast connections.

The scheme was expanded by the Welsh Government last week and is now available to all homes and businesses in Wales that cannot currently access speeds of at least 24Mbps.

It is estimated that more than 100,000 premises will now meet the new qualification criteria.

The scheme is open to individuals, businesses, third sector organisations and communities suffering from slow broadband connections.

Satellite Internet’s managing director Mike Locke said: “Even in today’s access-dependent age, numerous properties across Wales and the rest of the UK still don’t have reliable, high-speed internet, leaving both residents and workers unable to access vital online services.

“Satellite Internet is fully backing the ABC scheme, illustrating the viability of satellite internet connectivity for the final 5% of properties within the entire UK.”

The subsidy will help pay for the set-up costs of an improved service, provided that it at least doubles the current connectivity levels at the premises.

The level of support available varies from £400 to £800, depending on the service selected by the applicant.

'Fast and robust'

Satellite Internet is offering packages up to 30Mbps that are available to any eligible property in Wales.

“The beauty of a satellite-based internet solution is that it can be provisioned at any location where there is a clear line of sight to the southern sky,” said Mr Locke.

“This allows it to offer a fast and robust connection to reach those areas where it is simply unfeasible to deploy any other internet delivery technology.”

As well as expanding the ABC scheme, the Welsh Government also opened up its Ultrafast Connectivity Voucher programme to businesses across Wales.

The vouchers had previously only been available to businesses in Enterprise and Local Growth Zones.

Announcing the expansion of the two schemes, deputy minister for skills and technology Julie James said: “Superfast broadband is vital for homes and business, which is why the Welsh Government is committed to bringing faster broadband speeds to communities across Wales.

“These two expanded schemes, together with Superfast Cymru, our project to provide wireless broadband to 2,000 premises on business parks and industrial estates, and the commercial rollout by private companies, will make superfast speeds available to all homes and businesses across Wales.

“All the measures we are taking are helping to make Wales one of the best connected countries in the world.”

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