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Satellite ISP Tariam Outage Caused by Billing Dispute
By: MarkJ - 20 November, 2008 (9:03 AM)

The Cheltenham-based broadband satellite ISP, Tariam, which has continued to suffer from service and support problems since August (news), could be in serious trouble. Several customers and rivals have suggested that the provider may be unable to pay some of its bills, potentially causing one or two of their suppliers to pull the plug.

One reader alleges that Tariam has had "8 or so CCJ's against them this year so far" and were now "subject to a winding up petition". Unfortunately most of our recent attempts to contact Tariam have typically gone unanswered, which is apparently a common problem for customers too. Further details can be found in THIS topic on our forum.

Additional allegations have claimed that SkyLogic, one of Tariams suppliers, cancelled their distributorship deal at the end of October due to non-payment. Mark Bennett, an agent for Worldwide Comms (Orbit Research), recently went on record to inform us of the following developments:

"If you have had a Tariam Satellite Internet Service, using a Linkstar terminal I can assure you it has been disconnected. Eutelsat Skylogic, the satellite operator, have terminated Tariams distribution agreement due to non-payment of satellite bandwidth, and hence disconnected all services to end users.

If your Tariam service was "homenet" using TooWay technology, this also has been terminated by the operator of that service for the same non-payment issues. We have even had customers approach us who have paid a large initiat deposit, and paid for satellite terminals and installation for which they have received nothing,
" said Bennett.

In keeping with Bennetts comments, ISPreview has seen complaints from customers that recently paid well over £1,000 for a service which they now appear unable to receive.

However the good news is that Tariam's Simon Clifton has finally responded after seeing Bennetts remarks. Clifton makes the claim that the article placed by Bennett is not true and that he is merely after their customers.

Naturally we decided to contact Eutelsat's Skylogic to get to the bottom of things and were put in touch with Fulvio Zola, Skylogic's Contract Administrator. Contray to Clifton's claim, Zola has instead confirmed Bennetts comment:

Dear Sir,

Tariam's Distribution agreement was terminated on the 24th October 2008 as several invoices were outstanding. Termination for overdue payments is a specific cause of termination for Skylogic's Agreement.

Skylogic's distributors and partners are listed on Skylogic's web site. Please contact them in order to have your network connected.

Best regards

Fulvio Zola
Contract Administrator

Since receiving Tariamís original message on Monday we have responded to try and gain further clarity and comment over all of the concerns raised in this news item. Sadly we have not yet received a response.

UK satellite Internet providers operate in an increasingly niche sector of the market, a sector which has already been pushed back by land-line broadband services and is now also facing pressures from growing Mobile Broadband and wireless alternatives. Add into that the current recession and making money suddenly becomes very difficult.

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