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Satellite ISP Avanti Criticises Slow Broadband in Cornwall UK

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018 (11:16 am) - Score 508
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Avanti, which operates the HYLAS Satellite broadband network, has claimed that a lack of “superfast broadband” (30Mbps+) in the County of Cornwall (England) is “costing jobs and holding back new start-ups,” with an estimated 6,500 Cornish businesses allegedly still being stuck in the economic slow lane (Council figures).

The criticism is of course designed to help highlight Avanti’s existing contract in the region, which is funded by £1.2m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and aims to make a ‘up to’ 40Mbps broadband download speed (6Mbps upload) service available to rural businesses across Cornwall and Isles of Scilly in England (here).

As part of that the Satellite operator claims to have now slashed the price of their business satellite superfast broadband scheme in the county by an average of 63%. The result is that local businesses should now be able to access this service from less than £1 per day (details here).

The scheme targets areas where there is no broadband connectivity or, where broadband access has speeds lower than 2Mbps. The project has funding to cover up to 1,000 businesses across the region. Avanti is running the project from its satellite operations base at the famous Goonhilly site on the Cornwall Lizard peninsula.

The funding for the project includes free kit and subsidised installation, as well as the monthly tariffs offered on a subsidised rate. All packages offer the same speeds with the variance on price reflecting the data allowance per month; data packages start at 25GB and go up to 150GB for “larger users” (by modern standards 150GB isn’t large, even home users gobble an average of 190GB and that’s last year’s figure).

Belinda Silous, Chief Sales Officer at Avanti Communications, said:

“These Cornish communities have been underserved and are missing out on being able to grow their businesses. They have not had access to the fundamental basics of being able to communicate with their customers and employees. We are enabling Cornish businesses and entrepreneurs to have access to our superfast satellite broadband service to encourage growth in the Cornish market by delivering access no matter where they are located.”

In fairness the picture being painted here is arguably a lot more negative than current reality. At present more than 90% of premises within Cornwall are believed to have access to a superfast broadband network and it’s one of the only parts of the UK with a significant coverage of Openreach’s (BT) ultrafast FTTPfull fibre” network, which reaches around 85,000+ premises or roughly a third of the area.

Back in 2017 a new state aid supported Superfast Cornwall and Broadband Delivery UK contract was signed with Openreach that aims to put a further 7,000+ premises within reach of their latest 1Gbps capable FTTP network by 2019 (here). The county also holds a general ambition to deliver 99% coverage of superfast broadband by the end of 2020.

Clearly all this still leaves a big gap to fill and in the meantime Avanti’s contract offers an alternative (assuming you can’t get a good 4G based Mobile Broadband link either). On the other hand Satellite is far from perfect and remote businesses will need to grapple with high latency times (not much good for complex real-time Cloud or VPN systems etc.), as well as limited / expensive data allowances.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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7 Responses
  1. New_Londoner

    It would be interesting to know how that “estimated 6,500 Cornish businesses allegedly still being stuck in the economic slow lane” number reduces by when 4G coverage is factored in. Given a choice, I’d far rather go for something like the EE external aerial solution with a decent data allowance that a high latency, low data cap satellite solution.

  2. Nobroadband

    The county also holds a general ambition to deliver 99% coverage of superfast broadband by the end of 2020.
    And I have a ambition of fly in outer space. I wonder which one is more likely to happen in my life time.

  3. CJ

    A company that will lose business if rural broadband does actually improve campaigns for better rural broadband while (entirely coincidentally) mentioning their satellite solution… just saying!

    I agree that in most cases a 4G connection would be preferable if available, especially since Ofcom clarified that operators cannot object to a phone sim being used in a 4G router or place commercial restrictions on tethering.

  4. Gerarda

    yes we will send you our quotation as soon as it stops raining and we can reconnect to our satellite broadband

    • Onephat

      I’ve used Eutelsat’s Tooway system quiet heavily while traveling and it works perfectly well during heavy rain, snow and thunderstorms etc. HYLAS is a much more premium product than Tooway so i’d expect to fair even better.

  5. PC

    The fact is that few people, and even fewer businesses, would choose a satellite broadband service due to latency (little Johnny cant use his Playstation) and typically higher installation and monthly costs. It is already an out-of-date technology, so why invest in it?

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