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Avanti sign £1.2 million deal to provide BT with satellite broadband
Tuesday 30 November 2010 16:26:00 by John Hunt

Following the successful launch of their new HYLAS 1 satellite last week, Avanti Communications have announced that they have signed a 5-year deal with BT to provide satellite broadband services which will be used to allow the company to provide broadband to areas where coverage isn't currently available. The contract is valued at about £1.2 million and should see the service deployed to areas of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly under the recent announcement of £132 million of investment in the area to deploy broadband.

"I am delighted that Avanti will be working alongside BT to ensure all residents of Cornwall will be able to connect to high speed broadband services. We firmly believe that our complementary business models will prove to be a vitally important example to the rest of the UK and Europe of how to solve the digital divide."

David Williams, (Chief Executive) Avanti

The HYLAS 1 satellite launch last week was a perfect launch and the satellite was placed into the correct orbit precisely on schedule, now operating under Avanti's control.

Comments

Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
Nothing against Avanti, have used their services myself, but I totally disagree with public money being used to deliver anything that isn't Next Generation Access. After saying that, if it saves the poor sods in cornwall from BET then it has to be better, but even so, with all the assets BT already has, ducts, poles and wayleaves they could use the funding to run fibre to the distance links. I guess they will be using it for urban FTTC. Its a scandal just waiting to happen.
Posted by nmg196 over 6 years ago
@cyberdoyle - £1.2 million would go nowhere in providing fibre in rural areas as you know yourself. Note it says "million" not "billion". Personally I believe that all advances in technology which enable faster broadband for people in rural areas are welcome. FTTH will come, but it's many years off so what's the harm in filling in the gap while we're waiting with technologies like FTTC (a prerequisite for FTTH anyway) and satellite broadband. Note that this service is specifically for people who have NO broadband at all and are unlikely to get it for many years.
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
"I totally disagree with public money being used to deliver anything that isn't Next Generation Access"

you can sit on your hillside issuing fatwas until blue in the face, but nobody really cares and people are happy to receive more connectivity rather than your jam tomorrow promises (7 years and counting)
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
@ CD bit confused, you wrote "They are a brilliant stop gap until fibre gets to everyone" against the launch story on Friday?

I suspect anyone in a very remote location where even subsidised broadband is not economic will be rather more eager to see what the new satellite offers. The same will apply to the potential offered by BET.

Its easy to be critical but there are now two new options to consider, which may be the difference for some people getting service or getting nothing.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
I don't expect this will change the plans for Cornwall by much, the plan will still be to use mainly FTTC/FTTP with Sat for the very hard to reach places, remember its a limited pot of money and they need to use it wisely to give as many people as possible a service, not just provide a limited amount of people with FTTH and leave everyone else with nothing as the pot runs dry very early.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
heck Herdwick, i have never made any jam tomorrow promises. nmg, getting fibre to rural areas, why its already in the exchanges everyone tells me, its only a case of giving access to it and communities will do the last mile. The problem is the massive charges BT put on the connection and the VOA tax issue.
New_londoner, they are a brill stop gap, but not using public funding.
There is no potential in BET, its a scam. Sat is better. If other companies had the assets and tax perks of BT they wouldn't be using sat or BET. They would have won the tender and done true NGA for cornwall.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
also nmg, BT said last week that anyone getting FTTC would not be upgraded. Many of those on FTTC will end up with 5 meg for decades.
The only way FTTC will get upgraded is if Rutland telecom upgrade their cabinets (or vigin mebes) But BT will milk that copper till their last breath. until the goose is dead.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
"Many of those on FTTC will end up with 5 meg for decades."

Says who? Who says many with FTTC get 5Mb? Many actually get close to the 35-40Mb the only mention of 5Mb is the release of a variant to exploit the technology to give better speeds to some people than they have now.

BT will use what they have to get the best speeds out of it for the best returns, just like any other company will. What they are doing is no different to Virgin, you don't see Virgin ripping out their coax and replacing it with fibre they are taking it as far as they can in terms of speeds, just like BT are.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Your of a very narrow minded view that NGA is Fibre to the Home and nothing else, which is of course wrong. Based on that view your already enjoying NGA with your local lash up network.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
Difficult to see why BET is a scam. It is an option acvailable from Openreach that any service provider can take up if they wish - there is no compulsion. As per other comments, if I couldn't get broadband due to line length then I'd be very interested in this or satellite.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
@CD Suggest you drop the "tax perks" line as the UK courts and EU investigation both concluded these to be non-existant. The court documents are very clear.

Repeating an allegation that has been found to be incorrect when investigated in some depth does not make it a fact!
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
@CD "its only a case of giving access to it and communities will do the last mile."

The real problem is the cost to provide the connectivity in the "last mile", or in some cases the last 10+ miles. Having people with the skills to do fibre jointing, permission and skills to dig up roads, the ability to clear blockages etc is expensive.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
Its a nice cosy idea taht the villagers will do this, but who willpay the insurance to allow them to climb polls? Who will sort out the approvals to dig roads? Who do I sue when a "villager" disconnects my business service in error?

Not trying to be negative by this so-called "digital pump" idea is a nice sound bite thought up by someone with no real clue about what is involved.

When you dig below the surface (no pun intended) there is no substance to the concept, just a wish by some to try and get something for virtually nothing by trying to wish away some of the costs.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
IMHO BET and satellite provide two credible alternatives for those without realistic options for broadband through other means. The more innovation like this is encouraged, the more chances there are that other new alternatives will come up in the future.

There clearly is some demand for BET as at least one service provider is offering it - Scotnet. I'm guessing the name is a clue to where they are finding demand.
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
cd - again you confuse snippets of what you hear. Fibre in exchanges is there to provide a particular service, connection to an ISP, voice circuit etc. Any spare fibres are not there to be given away to anyone who wants them. And what would you do with a fibre circuit from one exchange to another, what would it connect to?
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Somerset with all due respect I don't think she'll ever "get it" she continues the same tones and copper cabal comments in every article and we do our best to make her understand why it isn't as simple/cheap/viable/right to do what she expects. And because of her very simplified view of the networking world her views won't change (no offence cd). Its like me (knowing nothing about aviation) constantly whining saying I don't understand how it can cost so much to make a jumbo jet when its clearly only a a few wings and an engine at the end of the day, it can't be that hard or complicated?
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
cd - any spare fibres anywhere do have 'the internet' on them. They are there to provide connectivity from A to B.
Posted by SheepFarmer over 6 years ago
Is there a missing 'not' in that last post Somerset? As in 'any spare fibres anywhere do *not* have 'the internet' on them'.

If it was cheap, and if it was easy, BT would do it because they'd make money from it. Some people seem to have this vision of BT deliberately making life hard for people and withholding products people would like to buy.

Just getting 'the internet' to some green cabinets is costing billions around the country.
Posted by SheepFarmer over 6 years ago
This village pump idea that keeps doing the rounds is just like BT getting fibre to the green cabinets, which is the very expensive bit. Actually putting in the gear to provide VDSL costs little in comparison.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
The simple facts are. BT can and do provide FTTP already across the country for business. It costs a lot of money to provide and businesses pay that money.

BT can provide the same for homes but home users will not pay the money required for this to happen.

It really is as simple as that, no "copper cabal, no sweating the copper" its plain and simple. Knowing this BT will (like any other company) use what they have in place to provide the best speeds possible at a price point the home customer is willing to pay.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
As I've said before, no other private company in the world is investing so much of their own money to rollout of FTTC/P to homes
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Sheepfarmer, the village pump is worse than FTTC**, at least with FTTC you can expect over 30Mb download "per house" which you won't get at the same price with your village pump as many many people will share a single backhaul.

** Unless you can't get FTTC of course, anything is better than nothing
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
oops - any spare fibres anywhere do NOT have 'the internet' on them
Posted by SheepFarmer over 6 years ago
GMAN, yes, of course it is worse. I was making the point that the village pump idea is just plain silly. If BT can provide the 'pump' they can, relatively, cheaply provide the VDSL for the last few hundred metres. It makes no sense for any company to do anything else.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
^ agreed
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
The villagers would be better off on 5Mb FTTC than a pump
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
A digital village pump is very like a cabinet. but unlike a cabinet other companies will have access to it. that means fibre can come out of it if people want it. It is a futureproof solution, unlike fttc which bt have already stated they won't upgrade. It can have as much feed into it as needed. It can go the final mile, which copper can't. BT have already stated that cabinets will supply further away people with 5meg. hardly the future.
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
So who would pay for a DVP?
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
A DVP is only needed where there is not a BT exchange.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Other companies will have access to it? No the single network supplier will and you will be tied into "one" ISP. You won't be able to shop around for the best deal there will only be one deal to be had, it won't be a wholesale solution. Yes it can have as much feed into it, but at what cost, we've already seen £25 a month quoted for a 100Mb backhaul, which is shared between 180 people (so far) how is that the future, its a very low bandwidth solution. Heavy users will have less priority. The backhaul and it being shared with so many lets it down so does the single ISP/non-wholesale
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
In addition to GMan's very valid points above, I note no attempt to ask my practical questions about how a DVP project would work.

As before, who will pay the insurance to allow them to climb polls? Who will sort out the approvals to dig roads? What about wayleaves? Who do I sue when a "villager" disconnects my business service in error?

Don't be conned by the soft and fluffy title into agreeing to become involved in this. Ask some of the people offered broadband over community wi-fi just how well these projects fare once in-life.
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
cd - is there a detailed explanation of the DVP concept? I can see it working in some places but not others. It does seem to be based on a free? internet connection.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
Contd.

...And wi-fi is much easier than building a local fixed network.

I'd love to see a group work up a detailed proposal for a real "final third" area that shows exactly how much manpower, funding etc is required to deliver a genuine NGA solution with real quality of service etc. And then adds in how in-life service will be maintained, funded.

And that is without dealing with issues such as persuading one or more service providers to connect to them etc. There is a lot more to this than coming up with a catchy title!
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
Contd.

In the meantime, satellite, BET etc can provide real-world solutions to real people that are without broadband at present.
Posted by MarkHampshire over 6 years ago
"signed a 5-year deal with BT to provide .. services .. where coverage isn't currently available"

I'm puzzled. I thought the point of the taxpayer cash was to invite companies to tender for the solution. Assuming that BT aren't paying Avanti X and charging the customer X minus some amount, then would it not have been cheaper to approach Avanti directly? e.g. what has the satellite option got to do with the phone company?
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Mark, the way I understand it is that BT have won the tender and are providing FTTC/P to 80-90% of Cornwall and they need something else to provide a service to the hard to reach areas not covered by FTTC/P, they already have BET and now because they've signed with Avanti can offer that service to fill the gap as well as BET or instead of.
Posted by MarkHampshire over 6 years ago
That's the bit I don't get, though. How could BT have won the tender when they - as a phone company who are only interested in phones and maybe a bit of broadband - don't have any cost effective solution to actually deliver. This (FTTC/P) is a network from scratch, using some existing poles/ducts. Would it not have been more effective to have a panel of people who know stuff handing out the tenders, who could have gone straight to the satellite company themselves and been very explicit about - and had control over - what solutions would be delivered..
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
Who says BT are only interested in phones? Largest network in the UK, ethernet POPs, etc.

Not surprising about the lack of knowledge of some here!
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
@Mark

Suggest you read up on the tender responses. My understanding is that BT offered far more investment than the other responders to match the public sector funding. If the county had bought capacity directly then they wouuld not get the much higher investment from BT, which I think was more than double that from the oublic sector.

Don't agree with your other comment either about BT being a phone company with a "bit of broadband", bearing in mind its the biggest wholesale and retail broadband provider, as well as providing the majority of the network.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Mark, you clearly have no idea what BT do, its not just blokes up poles my my, biggest furthest reaching MPLS network in the world is a starter for ten. BT operate everywhere in virtually every country offering huge fibre based WAN's/LAN's its their bread and butter. The phone network is the UK is just one part of what they do
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