Saturday, 24 June 2017

Allocate some of extra rural broadband £250m to final 5% - Satellite Internet

Satellite Internet
Thursday 27 February 14

The Managing Director of UK satellite Internet Service Provider Satellite Internet is calling local councils to spend some of the latest tranche of rural broadband funding from central government on delivering satellite broadband solutions to reach the final five percent. It was announced yesterday that the extra £250m allocated by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport be divided between local councils and each will have a month to decide how to spend it to ensure superfast broadband is available to the majority of homes…

The Managing Director of UK satellite Internet Service Provider Satellite Internet is calling local councils to spend some of the latest tranche of rural broadband funding from central government on delivering satellite broadband solutions to reach the final five percent.

It was announced yesterday that the extra £250m allocated by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport be divided between local councils and each will have a month to decide how to spend it to ensure superfast broadband is available to the majority of homes.

“Whilst this is excellent news and will almost certainly be a boost for rural access across the UK, forgetting about the final five percent of the population entirely is a mistake,” said Mike Locke, Managing Director of Satellite Internet.

“To give some perspective, £250m would cover a third of a million satellite installations, all equipment costs and a year’s service at 20Mbps which could solve the issue as quickly as the dishes could be installed,” added Locke.

Satellite broadband can be deployed right now, cost effectively and providing consistent, reliable and fast download speeds. Satellite is already doing this for people throughout the country and so it is a known and realistic solution to just this problem.

Locke predicts that in the coming years, as the scale of the national broadband project comes to bear, satellite will be a key lifeline for those who are not lucky enough to live in the 95 percent of the country benefitting from the billion pounds worth of investment.

In yesterday’s BBC report covering the story Barry Forde, the chief executive of B4RN (Broadband for the Rural North), guessed that “the promises of up to 97 percent coverage will actually amount to 70 percent of properties that can actually get speeds of 24 megabits or more."

In the same news report, the Culture Secretary Maria Miller said that the government would like to “make sure that Britain is one of the best countries in the world for broadband."

Locke added: “I don’t think this is possible if the last five percent of the country is forgotten about and if Mr Forde’s predictions are correct we will certainly not be anywhere near the best. I understand that satellite broadband has its limitations, but it is the perfect technology for those whom currently have little prospect of imminent connection to a fast and reliable network. It is available everywhere, it is quick, easy to install, cost effective, tried and tested.”

Satellite broadband technology has come a long way and Mr Locke is urging councils now deciding how to allocate this extra new budget to consider it.

Wales has already included satellite broadband in its plans and Locke thinks it is time England, Scotland and Northern Ireland followed suit.

According to the BBC the majority of the money has been allocated as follows:

Devon, Somerset £22.7m

Shropshire £12.8m

Hereford and Gloucestershire £10.98m

South Yorkshire £10.4m

Essex £10.7m

Hampshire £8.7m

Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire - £6.6m

Kent and Medway £5.6m

East Riding, Yorkshire £5m

Black Country £4.9m


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