Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell has announced details of a new UK wide Government scheme aimed at improving broadband speeds in remote areas of Northern Ireland.
It will allow homes and businesses to get a subsidised satellite broadband connection if they are currently unable to obtain a broadband service of at least 2mbps.
“I recognise poor broadband is an issue for people and businesses in rural areas and I am pleased to launch this scheme which will help those with the slowest connections by providing an immediate boost to their available speeds,” he said.
“The scheme, administered by my Department, will provide a code to eligible homes and businesses upon request. They can then use the code with selected retail service providers to obtain a subsidised satellite broadband service, including a free satellite dish and installation saving people up to £350.”
The Minister continued: “Satellite broadband offers a viable alternative to those living in rural locations to improve their broadband speeds and I would encourage people to investigate if they could benefit from this programme.”
Alex Crossan, BT Managing Director for Northern Ireland Networks, said: “BT is providing the wholesale satellite broadband service operation for the National Satellite Scheme.
“We have supply agreements in place with satellite operators and established reseller agreements with a number of retail service providers.
“Each reseller has been accredited by BT Wholesale and the BT Madley satellite service management teams, who are highly experienced in providing satellite services to businesses, governments, media and broadcast organisations and will be providing experienced operational support. Northern Ireland is coming from a position of strength in terms of communications infrastructure, and we look forward to working with DETI on this latest initiative to bring broadband deeper into rural areas.”
More information on the operation of the scheme in Northern Ireland can be found on the Broadband Programme website at http://www.detini.gov.uk
More information on the national scheme can be found on the DCMS website at gosuperfastchecker.culture.gov.uk/basicbroadbandchecker.