Satellite broadband is nothing new, but Avonline as part of the Innovation Fund that is looking at superfast broadband solutions for the final 5% of households has launched its superfast 30 Mbps satellite service with parts of Aberdeenshire, Antrim, Dumfries and Galloway, Fermanagh and the Scottish Borders county being the launch locations.
The independence from any landline is a crucial part for rural locations and prices start at £24.99 per month for a 10 Mbps service (20GB usage allowance), £39.99 buys you a 24 Mbps connection and 30GB allowance and £49.99 increases you to 30 Mbps with a 40GB allowance. An initial set-up fee is listed as being required but no indication is given of what its cost is.
The Antrim Times covers the launch, but indicates that install and set-up will be free for the first 1,000 customers, so it may be a bit of race to order for those that want to benefit.
Satellite broadband can provide the speeds they are advertising, an example speed test from an up to 24 Mbps solution via the Tooway Direct platform nicely illustrates the latency issue, since the download test takes a long time to start and the latency for small packets at 900ms and above may make some websites perform less than optimally.