Satellite broadband piloted for rural Fermanagh

Published: 3rd November 2015

Some rural areas of Fermanagh have been chosen for a new, superfast, satellite broadband scheme which is being delivered on a pilot basis by Avanti Communications, a UK satellite owner and known pioneer in rural broadband.

Fermanagh is one of only five regions in the UK to be given the opportunity to avail of the scheme to deliver broadband via satellite to a total of 1,000 consumers and businesses across the five areas. Antrim is the only other region in Northern Ireland to be offered the pilot, with the remainder of areas being in Scotland.

This pilot satellite broadband scheme is subsidised, with Avanti installing the equipment free of charge, while users will still be responsible to pay their monthly tariffs.

The subsidised broadband scheme is being offered on a first come, first served basis to those in rural parts of Fermanagh. To find out whether you are eligible to apply simply visit www.better-broadband.co.uk/fermanagh and type in your postcode.

A demonstration site for the satellite rural broadband initiative has been established at Boho Community Centre. Simply call in during office hours and take the opportunity to try out the speed of satellite broadband. Staff in the Centre will be on hand to assist with any difficulty in accessing or using the system.

Speaking about the satellite broadband scheme, the Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council said that the Council was delighted that residents and businesses in some of Fermanagh’s most rural and isolated areas have this opportunity to avail of new connectivity technology, and  urged people to apply on line.

“Fermanagh and Omagh District Council has continued the commitment of the legacy Councils in both Omagh and Fermanagh to be at the forefront in campaigning, over many years, for broadband provision in our most rural areas. The rural parts of the district have been severely disadvantaged and hampered because of little, or even no, broadband coverage.  This new satellite broadband scheme will bring untold benefits to customers who live in rural areas with no broadband connections, those who receive slow, unreliable connections or those who have no access to, or live far away, from the telephone exchange. It is a big step in the right direction until fibre broadband can be delivered to all businesses and households” he said.

A spokesman for Avanti explained that, rather than using an underground copper/fibre network, satellite broadband operates by sending and receiving your broadband signal to a satellite about 36,000 miles up in space.

“Because the satellite sits high up in space it can provide an equal quality of coverage to every household and business in its footprint.  With 100% coverage of the UK and Ireland, satellite broadband provides high speed connectivity no matter where you are,” the spokesman said.

The exciting project, being delivered in partnership with Broadband UK will deliver a wholesale network, through service providers, to a total of 1,000 consumers and businesses throughout the five areas.

Further information on the scheme can also be found on www.better-broadband.co.uk/fermanagh or by contacting Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s Economic Development Officer, Mr Kevin McShane, Telephone 0300 303 1777 Ext 20313 or Email kevin.mcshane@fermanaghomagh.com

-ENDS – –

For further information contact: Elizabeth Harkin, Tel:  0300 3031 777 Ext 20205;  Email:  elizabeth.harkin@fermanaghomagh.com

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