Broadband woes soon to be dispelled

A couple living in rural north Northumberland have won a satellite-broadband system and a year’s free service, which will help them no end.

Avonline Broadband has scrapped connection charges for residents, farmers and businesses who sign up for its up-to-22Mbps satellite-broadband service through selected local authorities and rural associations.

The provider is giving 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.

The Gazette 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.

And Paul Green, who lives at Yetlington, out to the west of Callaly and Whittingham, was selected as the winner.

His submission read: ‘As a carer with a disabled wife, the internet, to us living in an isolated area, is a lifeline.

‘We use it to shop, manage our banking, and for entertainment.

‘However, with a speed of 1.3Mbps and frequent drops in service, we cannot rely on the service.’

Reacting to the news that he had won this week, Mr Green added: “It’s going to be great, it’s going to have a huge impact. It actually got so bad that we have considered moving.”

We received a number of good entries, with another example of the difficulties suffered by people in our rural communities coming from Jayne Watson, from Bowsden Moor, who detailed the struggles in running a pedigree livestock farm without a reliable broadband connection.