Alternative broadband company scraps £150 connection charges

Mark Wynn, managing director of Avonline Broadband.
Mark Wynn, managing director of Avonline Broadband.

A broadband provider, which teamed up with the county council in an effort to support those in rural areas, has reduced the cost of its services.

In April 2013, we reported that contracts were signed with three providers after the iNorthumberland project set up a £1.3million loans scheme to to encourage small and medium enterprises offering wireless satellite broadband or other alternative technologies to come into the county.

Now, one of those providers is scrapping connection charges for residents, farmers and businesses unable to get a fast broadband service, and who sign up for its up-to-22Mbps satellite-broadband service through selected local authorities and rural associations.

Avonline Broadband has announced it will give free installation and activation for customers who are either living in a local authority where it has an agreement in place, such as Northumberland, or who are members of partner national organisations. The cost would usually be £150.

Mark Wynn, managing director of Avonline Broadband, said: “It is becoming increasingly clear from the recent announcements by the Government and other official bodies that around 1.5million mostly-rural homes and businesses in the UK have no realistic hope of getting superfast broadband from the large infrastructure providers in the foreseeable future – and many residents in Northumberland are near the bottom of that list.

“Satellite broadband is their only realistic solution over the next two to five years. Our priority is to make our most popular satellite broadband service easily available so we are offering this special opportunity without the usual connection charges.”

The free connection offer will run throughout summer and is available to any new customer signing up for packages with a 12-month contract.

Details of the offer can be seen at www.avonlinebroadband.com and queries can be answered by Avonline’s regional coordinator for Northumberland, who is based near Kielder, at elaine.sims@avonline.co.uk

No phone line is required. A small (74cm) dish is fitted to an outside southerly-facing wall and is connected by cable to an indoor modem.

A standard installation, which normally takes just one to two hours, can often be arranged within a week of order.

Towards the end of 2013, we teamed up with Avonline to provide a satellite-broadband system and a year’s free service to someone who needed it living in the rural areas of north Northumberland.

Now we have teamed up with Avonline once again to offer the same prize to another family.

For details of how to enter, see this week’s Gazette.