Rural Britain could provide a huge cash injection for resellers, as a partnership between ISP Aramiska and wireless VAR ehotspot is proving money can be made from rural broadband projects.
Using Aramiska's internet satellite technology, ehotspot will provide broadband to 50 rural communities by the end of April.
The enthusiasm shown by rural communities means the trigger levels for most of the 50 country areas that have registered an interest have already been met, and ehotspot plans to have at least 47 of the 50 communities online by the first week in April.
Steve Petrie, Aramiska's UK sales director, said: "Ehotspot is probably our largest partner in the UK at the moment, and we expect to be approaching around 200-plus installations by the first quarter of this year."
The low start-up prices are a major attraction for users - the initial installation fee is £149, with a monthly charge of £29.99 per household. This is similar to urban ADSL pricing.
With ehotspot acting as the ISP, the firm also offers the customer technical support and billing.
John Sprank, ehotspot's chief executive, told CRN he expects numbers to rise as other communities enquire about the service.
"We are providing a solution to the many challenges rural communities face in acquiring a broadband connection. A number of communities have been let down by providers with promises left unfulfilled," he said.
Ehotspot will install its fixed wireless technology to carry internet traffic for the last mile, with Aramiska's satellite technology providing the backhaul service.
Although the service is initially offered to customers living within a two to four kilometre radius for a 2Mbps download, 512kbps upload service, Sprank said the range can be extended by installing repeaters.
Petrie added that the latency problems experienced by satellite connections were being addressed. "We can offer real-time applications using acceleration software," he said.
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