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Bigblu Broadband Launch 50Mbps Satellite Broadband for UK Homes

Friday, December 7th, 2018 (9:09 am) - Score 7,572
big blu broadband uk isp

European Satellite ISP Bigblu has signed a new network capacity agreement with Eurobroadband Infrastructure (a Eutelsat subsidiary), which will enable them to launch a new “Konnect” branded package that offers faster download speeds of “up to” 50Mbps (6Mbps upload). But it’s not cheap.

Under the new commercial arrangement EBI will provide satellite network capacity, as well as assist bigblu with subscriber premises equipment, installation and marketing to support the Konnect brand. By the looks of it this deal currently involves securing more capacity from the existing KA-SAT (9° East) spacecraft, which was launched into orbit nearly a decade ago (here).

However the Konnect brand will also cover a new generation of all-electric broadband GEO Satellites (Eutelsat Konnect), the first of which will launch sometime next year and aims to share 75Gbps of capacity across a network of 65 spotbeams using the Ka-band (radio spectrum). In theory ultrafast speeds of 100Mbps with bigger usage allowances and lower prices could also be possible, but latency times will remain high.

Andrew Walwyn, CEO of Bigblu Broadband, said:

“We are delighted to be selected as preferred partner by EBI to offer a truly next generation satellite broadband offering in Europe, which is an amazing foundation for the growth of Bigblu.

The investment EBI is making in this new superfast 50 Mbps product is a gamechanger for BBB and our customers alike. I’m therefore very excited that this proposition addresses many of the challenges satellite broadband faces with a fantastic offering that will deliver a service superior to most people’s wired broadband at a similar price point for the user.

By working closely with our partners, we will be able to further demonstrate our industry leadership across Europe, underpinning our belief that we will deliver strong organic growth next year and beyond.”

A quick glance at bigblu’s website today reveals that the KA-SAT based 50Mbps package is already live and comes attached to a monthly usage allowance of 100GB (unmetered off peak usage also exists between 1:00am to 6:00am), but in order to get this you’ll have to pay a hefty £69.99 per month (plus £99.98 up-front for installation and activation).

On top of that bigblu has been a bit sneaky since they also add a £5.00 monthly charge for the modem/Wi-Fi router (£74.99 total), but this is only shown after you click to order the new package. A vague Fair Usage Policy (FUP) is mentioned too, but since they have a different one for each platform then it’s unclear which of those applies to the ‘Konnect’ brand (not listed).

One other issue is that bigblu are still advertising using “up to” speeds, even though the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) now effectively requires ISPs to promote “average speeds” as measured at peak times. So far not a single Satellite ISP has done this, which might be at least partly due to concerns over the heavy throttling that some of them employ.

However if you live in a remote rural area, where both mobile and fixed line broadband signals are dire, then the new service may at least provide a quick-fix until something better arrives.

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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11 Responses
  1. Avatar Tony Waterstone

    “Our 4G, ultra-fast fixed wireless satellite broadband, multi-technology capability means we reach where others can’t.”
    Seems like they can’t tell the difference between 4G & satellite!

    • In fairness I have seen a Satellite fed fixed wireless broadband network before (early BDUK pilot), so it’s possible 🙂

    • Avatar CarlT

      Reading your quote they offer all 3 and note multiple technologies being used depending on which provides coverage. Given they have 3 different sets of packages depending on the technology being used I’m thinking they do know the difference 🙂

  2. Avatar Name

    The only problem here is big latency. 600ms avg. I used that on StenaLine ferry on Baltic sea between Poland and Sweden.

  3. Avatar Onephat

    I’ve used Tooway (their current service) fairly heavily over the last few years with success. I tended to use the service when travelling and although it was a heavy bit of kit it was fairly easy to setup and provided a decent service when public WiFi wasn’t an option.

  4. Avatar craski

    Satellite access is always going to be a very last resort. I cant think of any use case which makes this more useful than a ~30Mb satellite connection if data is limited at 100GB/month. Seems kind of pointless.

    • Avatar Darren

      Totally agree with you on this one – the limit imposed on Satellite broadband connections is always the achilles heel.

      The way I see it is that at present in our house we are on 3-5mbps broadband speed, now looking at our usage with PlusNet they say we’re using about 100Gb per month (which with PlusNet it’s unlimited so usage doesn’t really matter)

      I think the only reason we use that is because of the broadband speed, I think if we increased the broadband speed from 5mbps to 50mbps a few things would happen. Firstly everything would start downloading faster, then when watching video online things like youtube would start offering us video content at HD or maybe even 4K resolution. This would all mean an increase in data usage.

      So as we are using about 100Gb/month on 5mbps I’m guessing that if we went up to 50mbps we might not use exactly 10x the amount but it certainly would be a lot more than 100Gb/month, and so even though satellite offers faster speed it’s pointless with the current capping system to even think about signing up as you’ll get your stuff faster but just end up running out of data. I have also contemplated going with EE with their 4G broadband as that might be a bit faster, but even that is capped at the same rate – so absolutely useless. It’s annoying because the cabinet that we are on has fibre enabled but because we’re 3 miles from the cabinet on poor quality copper cable we’ve been told we’re not allowed it, and it’s not viable to upgrade the copper cable for the 40+ houses in this village (ignoring the fact that there is yet another 100 houses just down the road from us in another village who are also in the same boat with broadband – surely they could put a box between our two villages and give both villages fibre – although I think that would be too sensible for BT to even think of)

    • Avatar craski

      Your are correct, your usage is almost guaranteed to increase. I live in an area that has not received any help from BDUK and through ADSL we still only have ~3Mb ( better than a lot of others do but not nearly enough ). 3 years ago I decided to set up a fixed wireless system to get the bandwidth from the nearest village that had been upgraded to FTTC to our village 4 miles away and that has been great. It now provides considerably faster access than we had through ADSL and it has grown to help several neighbours out too. Not one household on the system is using less than 100GB. Our average data use per household is around 250GB per month. We also help several households who were duped into accepting BDUK sponsored satellite installations through desperation not realising the limitations and the ridiculous data charges they impose if you exceed the plan allowance. Not one of them would recommend or go back to a satellite system now.

  5. Avatar dave

    There is very little point in an increase from 30Mbps to 50Mbps when the usage limit is so low.

  6. Avatar 5G Infinity

    Copper + fibre = multi-technology
    fibre + fixed wireless = multi-technology
    anything + WiFi = multi-technology
    fibre = pure

  7. Avatar Brian

    Last years Ofcom Connected Nations Report gave average usage as 2016 132GB per month, and 2017 190GB per month. Its highly likely 2018 will be higher, so the USO doesn’t even allow for even probably half the average usage, designed to be a very much second class service for those that are ‘too far from the cabinet’, or long EO lines.

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