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UPDATE2 More Eutelsat UK Satellite Broadband ISPs Reveal 18Mb Packages

Tuesday, Jul 10th, 2012 (1:31 pm) - Score 1,364

Last week saw satellite ISP Tooway Direct become the first UK reseller to adopt Eutelsat’s new range of faster and more flexible 18Mbps capable broadband packages via the KA-SAT spacecraft (here), which is targeted at rural communities. Now several more ISPs have updated their packages but many continue to conceal the usage policy (FAP).

A quick check by ISPreview.co.uk found that Avonline, Bentley Walker, Broadbandwherever and Rural Broadband had all updated their websites to reflect the new packages. Unsurprisingly the service is practically identical from each provider, with prices starting at around £25 per month for 8Mbps (2Mbps uploads) and an 8GB monthly usage allowance or £45 for the 18Mbps (6Mbps upload) service with 26GB.

A mix of 12 or 24 month contract options are also available, although some differences can be found in the cost of hardware, installation and setup, with one-off prices ranging from around £200 to £500. Crucially some of the ISPs offer both the hardware and activation free on the new 18Mbps service, which can save hundreds of pounds.

The revamped service also include a new Flat Rate usage policy (Fair Access Policy), which claims to give customers a better performance through the duration of their monthly data allowance. Unfortunately practically all of the ISPs still do a poor job of communicating these details, while others have added the new packages but failed to reflect the new FAP and could thus cause confusion.

It is vitally important that consumers are given clear and simple details about any usage policies that apply. ISPs which fail to provide this or make it hard to find should be viewed with caution and unfortunately most of them still need to do some work. Ofcom has repeatedly warned all ISPs to make such details “transparent” to consumers, with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) echoing those demands.

ISPreview.co.uk’s List of Broadband Sat ISPs (currently being updated)
http://www.ispreview.co.uk/isp_list/ISP_List_Satellite.php

UPDATE 11th July 2012

ISPreview.co.uk has done a little digging and, with some help from two of our readers and Dave Barnes of the Bentley Walker sales team, we’ve been able to gleam more information about how the new Skylogic/Eutelsat usage policy works.

Firstly all new customers will be put onto the updated Fair Access Policy (FAP), while all existing customers will be given an “option” to upgrade to the new Tooway8, T12, T18 and T18 Max Plans. It cannot just happen automatically as customers will need to agree to the new FAP policy before an ISP can upgrade them.

The new FAP itself, which even some ISPs admit hasn’t been fully defined to them yet, promises to deliver the best package speeds (“higher priority”) for the first 50% of each customers usage allowance (i.e. if you have an 8GB allowance then the priority speeds will apply to your first 4GB of usage). After that the last 50% of an allowance will be accompanied by a lower priority (i.e. slower speeds), though Skylogic has not yet defined what this will be.

Customers who exceed the monthly cap will be slowed to just 64Kbps (0.06Mbps) until the reset point, which will usually be the end of each month (i.e. on the original activation date of the customer’s account). Customers will be able to get around this by either upgrading or splashing out on an expensive top-up, which could cost around £9.99 per 1GB.

UPDATE 24th July 2012

According to Bentley Walker‘s Dave Barnes, “The 50% throttling has been removed, it is literally now a fixed Monthly quota with no other speed related throttling, if the quota is exceeded the customer will receive up to 128/128kbps. This has been confirmed and finalised by Skylogic, so it is very doubtful that it will be changed.” Thanks Dave.

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Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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