Avanti UK Rural Satellite Broadband ISP Feasibility Interview - ISPreview
Avanti UK Rural Satellite Broadband ISP Interview
By: Mark Jackson - June 1st, 2009 : Page 1 -of- 4
"However, satellite has long been dogged by a number of problems, such as high data costs"

Earlier this year Lord Stephen Carter, better known as the governments first Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting, published his first interim Digital Britain report outlining the need for a new digital Universal Service Commitment/Obligation (related news). The new USO had several aims, not least to make broadband capable of 2Mbps available to everybody in the country by 2012. This would be no easy task, especially with BT’s own figures showing that roughly 7% of the country could not achieve such speeds via existing land lines.

UK Broadband Speed Coverage

Since then the race has been on to find viable technological solutions for bridging this largely rural digital speed divide. Upgrades to existing telephone lines, new wireless (Wi-Fi, WiMax) networks and Mobile Broadband services are all under consideration. There is also one broadband technology that can already achieve such a feat, satellite.

However, satellite has long been dogged by a number of problems, such as high data costs (results in meagre usage allowances and a pricey service), expensive hardware/installations, unreliable performance (admittedly a lot of land-line ISPs suffer from that too) and poor latency (causes VoIP sync problems and makes fast paced multiplayer gaming nearly impossible).

To be acceptable a satellite service would thus have to go beyond its traditional limits and offer a truly affordable and flexible service, which also takes account of modern and growing levels of Internet usage (online video, multiplayer gaming, Internet voice services etc.). UK based Avanti is one such satellite broadband provider that hopes to break the mould, or at least some of the mould.

Avanti Hylas 1 Broadband UK Satellite

Avanti, which has several thousand consumer and business customers spread across Europe, currently specialises in provided broadband Internet access of up to 3Mbps to rural and remote areas not served by terrestrial networks. It also plans to launch a new satellite, HYLAS 1, later this year that will offer even faster and cheaper services.

The Interview

ISPreview was able to setup an interview with Simon Barret, the Head of European Marketing for Avanti Communications. We naturally put a number of difficult questions his way and were pleasantly surprised by some of the answers. Could satellite really help to bridge the divide?

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