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Satellite ISP Uses Crowd Funding to Solve Broadband Notspots in Scotland

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013 (1:11 pm) - Score 1,125

Ayrshire-based ISP Internet Anywhere, which claims to be Scotland’s largest reseller of Eutelsat’s up to 20Mbps capable Tooway based satellite broadband services, has become one of the first businesses to make use of a new crowd-funding platform that could help to plug the country’s remaining internet notspots and slowspots.

According to their page on the new Squareknot website, which is one of the first crowd funding platforms to offer both equity and loan funding, Internet Anywhere aims to raise a total of £125,000 that would be used to help bring faster satellite broadband solutions to at least some of the 300,000 Scottish premises that lack good connectivity.

John Walters Fitzgerald, Owner of Internet Anywhere, said (Business Insider):

More than 300,000 premises in Scotland have either no broadband or slow connections. This is damaging for rural communities and has significant negative repercussions for the country’s economy. Our aim to eliminate Scotland’s rural broadband problem and this funding would put us in a position to do so.”

Fitzgerald noted that “traditional ways of financing business are now virtually non-existent” and said that he hoped, within the next 89 days, to encourage 125 people to invest £1,000 each. As a reward those who invest will get their satellite broadband system installed free of charge (plus SEIS tax relief on their investment).

On the surface £125k sounds like a lot of money but it’s nowhere near enough to make any kind of dent in the figure of 300,000 premises. Sadly Squareknot’s website doesn’t allow you to see the detail of their pitch without first registering and as a result it’s difficult to know how the money would be spent.

It’s also worth remembering that the service hardware and installation for a single customer would set you back £519.98 +vat and that’s before the rental has even been considered. It’s certainly an interesting proposition but it faces an uphill struggle, especially at a time when public funding is being used to improve fixed line connectivity to many of the same areas.

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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