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Kent UK County Council Awards Major Satellite Broadband Contract to Avanti

Posted: 16th Sep, 2011 By: MarkJ
kent uk maphylas1 broadband satellite ukAvanti Communications, a UK based broadband Satellite ISP, has been chosen as part of a "competitive tender" to help people who live in rural parts of Kent gain access to faster broadband internet access services.

A 2009 study of the area estimated that Virgin Media UK's cable service could reach 38.3% of Kent's households and VFast, a fixed wireless ISP, was able to reach 33.9%, while BT managed 97.4%. A quarter of local homes can only receive speeds of 2Mbps and 8% are left to suffer a maximum of 512Kbps (0.5Mbps).

Avanti Statement

Avanti Communications Group plc (AIM: AVN), the satellite operator, is pleased to announce that, following a competitive tender, it has been awarded a place on the Kent County Council Rural Broadband framework, which will access funds of at least GBP1.5m to set up pilot projects to address the rural not spots of Kent using a range of technologies, including satellite.

Avanti is the only satellite broadband provider selected.

The Kent County Council (KCC) confirmed earlier this year that they had set aside £1.5 million for a new Superfast Broadband Pilot Fund and were recently awarded additional funding of £9,870,000 by the governments Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) office to help 90% gain access to related services by 2015.

Kent County Council Cabinet Member, Kevin Lynes, said recently:

"It is going to cost at least £42 million to introduce this to 90% of homes and businesses in the county, which is the national aim. That means the Government has earmarked about a quarter of what we need.

We now need to work together to secure the rest of the money. The announcement comes as the county council, Medway and Kent’s district councils are having to make huge budget savings, and must be seen against that background.

Initially we will need to work alongside our public sector partners to see if we can find innovative ways of raising the remaining money that is needed. At the same time, there is a great opportunity for businesses to invest in super-fast Broadband, which is critical for the county’s economy to grow."

Avanti are likely to leverage their new HYLAS 1 satellite, which can deliver internet download speeds of up to 10Mbps, to help the region. VFast and BT are also known to be involved and the next set of community broadband grants will be available in the 2012-2013 financial years.
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