According to the PAC report, the Rural Broadband Programme has not delivered the benefits it was supposed to. It could have installed a million satellite internet connections for the same budget.
The initial subsidy pot of £230 million would have covered a million satellite installations to provide a guarantee that absolutely everyone would have a decent minimum broadband service of up to 20Mbps. This "Universal Service Commitment" was one of the two original objectives of the DCMS / BDUK Rural Broadband Programme and one for which satellite is a practical and cost-effective solution. However, this objective seems to have been quietly forgotten and all the public investment, both national and local, handed to a single supplier with the superfast objective getting top priority.
That's all very well for people who already have acceptable broadband but want superfast- but what about those who don't yet have an acceptable, or any, service?
Satellite Internet will continue to be a cost-effective solution for, as the report says "the remaining 10% of the population that will still be without superfast broadband". The Welsh Assembly Government Broadband Support Scheme included satellite in its list of technologies available to homes and businesses and we think the Rural Broadband Programme should do the same.
We took part in the NextGen 13 Conference at Wembley 14 - 15 October 2013 to spread the word to stakeholders and national and local government.
We will continue to drive down the cost and increase the speed of satellite broadband as much as we can with free equipment available on selected 2 year contracts and services starting at only £15.95 with unlimited FreeZone period data. More details on the Packages page.