The government has announced it will roll out subsidised satellite broadband to around 300,000 remote UK homes and businesses that currently cannot obtain a 2Mbps service.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is to make the service available throughout December in collaboration with local councils, BT, and a number of local satellite broadband providers.
The move will help to fulfil the government’s 2Mbps Universal Service Commitment, to provide at least 2Mbps to all by the end of 2015.
Satellite vouchers were originally proposed in the March 2015 budget, with a pilot scheme in operation in parts of East Anglia and Yorkshire. At present the scheme appears only to be available online and may not be accessible to those with little to no broadband access, or who face other difficulties getting online.
The scheme is available to those who:
- Experience poor broadband download speeds of 2Mbps or less as determined by BDUK.
- Are currently unable to receive an affordable broadband service at all that offers download speeds of 2Mbps or less.
- Have no planned to provision of Superfast Broadband via the government roll out in their postcode area within 12 months of an application.
- Are not already covered by alternative broadband provision including 4G and wireless coverage.
- Applicants can view existing coverage via the two websites provided in the guidance document, ‘Ofcom’s mobile coverage checker’ and BDUK’s ‘Go superfast checker’. They are encouraged to check wireless provision in their area via Google or Yahoo.
The NFU also offers a satellite discount voucher through Avonline, exclusively for members, which can be accessed here or through Callfirst on 0370 845 8458.