As part of a national programme, Northamptonshire County Council has launched a new Satellite Broadband Voucher Scheme to meet the Government’s basic broadband policy commitment. This aims to ensure that all premises have access to broadband services providing at least 2Mbps.
Whilst the County Council’s Superfast Northamptonshire project remains focused on its full coverage target for Superfast Broadband, the new satellite scheme will provide immediate support for residents and businesses in the county which are currently suffering some of the worst broadband speeds. It is estimated that around 1,650 premises could be eligible for this scheme.
People can apply for a voucher worth up to £350 towards the cost of installation of a satellite dish and the equipment necessary to provide a satellite broadband service. The voucher includes an active code which a resident or business must quote when placing an order for satellite broadband with one of the four satellite providers that have registered to operate the scheme.
The value of the voucher is deducted by the supplier to cover the cost of installation; the customer is responsible for choosing the level of service they wish to take up and for paying the on going monthly subscription costs for that service – this may vary depending on what level of service or package is chosen.
The satellite providers operating the scheme are Avonline, Corsat, Digiweb and Primetech.
The Satellite Broadband Voucher Scheme will provide a vital connection for residents and businesses that are in need of faster broadband solutions today in areas where the existing provision is below 2Mbps. The scheme is being managed by the County Council in association with Broadband Delivery UK (part of the Department for Culture Media and Sport) and BT.
Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: “Our rollout of superfast broadband has already reached an additional 3.5 million homes and businesses who would otherwise have missed out. We are making tremendous progress, but it’s a massive engineering project and won’t happen overnight. This scheme offers immediate assistance to those homes and businesses in Northamptonshire with the slowest speeds and is all part of our transformation of the UK’s digital landscape”.
With access to at least 2Mbps local people will be able to do so much more on line and faster - whether sending emails, browsing the web, on line shopping and banking, interacting with business customers, farmers submitting their returns on line or kids doing their homework.
Cllr Andre Gonzalez De Savage, county council cabinet member for strategic infrastructure and public protection, said: “The County Council is continuing to invest in ‘next generation’ fibre based broadband and our ambitious target is to see this available across the county by the end of 2017. However, some residents and businesses are suffering such poor broadband speeds that they need a solution for faster broadband now – the satellite scheme is there to provide that choice.”
The County Council ran a satellite demonstrator project in 2014 which followed the experience of a farmer from Glapthorn in East Northamptonshire. You can view a video about his experience and find out more about the new Satellite Broadband Voucher Scheme on the project website.