Satellite rescue packages for North East firms
February 03, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Business NewsOne NorthEast and The North East Regional Portal (TNERP) step in as Aramiska pulls plug on satellite services.
A major broadband provider has pulled the plug on its service, leaving hundreds of customers without Internet access.
European-based satellite broadband firm Aramiska withdrew its service with just a few hours notice.
Businesses and homes situated in some of the most remote parts of the region had relied on Aramiska to provide them with access to the Internet. But the sudden announcement has left many without online connection indefinitely.
However, regional development agency One NorthEast joined forces with The North East Regional Portal to organise efforts to get North East customers back online.
The rescue package has already seen half a dozen businesses re-connected with alternative broadband suppliers.
One customer, Matt Boyle, a resident at Hepscott Park, a small village outside Morpeth in Northumberland, was left with just hours to find an alternative provider.
He said: “The satellite connection is installed in 13 homes and supports six small businesses at Hepscott Park. Our location means that satellite is the only viable broadband technology and broadband access is critical to us. Many of us rely heavily on the Internet to run our businesses. It was a shock when Aramiska pulled the plug without warning.
“One NorthEast and the Regional Portal originally funded our satellite connection. As soon as they discovered that Aramiska had disconnected us, they stepped in installed a new system to get us online.
“They responded quickly and effectively and we have experienced little disruption to business.”
Norma Foster, chief executive of The North East Regional Portal, explained: "Online disconnection would have profound implications for businesses like those at Hepscott Park, who depend on the service for electronic trading. In rural areas where landline broadband access is not available, online access is essential.
"It was vital that we stepped in to help these businesses following Aramiska's sudden closure, to ensure they won't have to invest in new equipment when they switch to another provider."
The Community Broadband Network (CBN) is acting as a national clearing house for information on alternative suppliers for businesses and community networks affected by the Aramiska failure.
CBN is working with private and public sector agencies to ensure that disruption is minimised in rural areas and has set up a task force to provide technical and
Malcolm Corbett, chief executive of the Community Broadband Network (CBN), said: "As many as 200 businesses and community broadband networks throughout the UK have been directly affected by the closure.
"One wireless Internet service provider has 36 villages currently without online access."
A not-for-profit organisation and a fully owned subsidiary of the Regional Development Agency One NorthEast, TNERP represents the North East England online via its n-e-life.com website. Key services include free online promotion and directory listings, e-commerce and online trading, procurement, broadband, e-marketing and search engine optimisation, content management services, portal solutions, training courses, seminars and workshops, plus advice and support on ICT.
For further information telephone (0191) 487 2002 or visit www.n-e-life.com.
CBN is a national network of over 200 local community broadband initiatives. Set up with funding from DTI and DEFRA, alongside the co-operative and private sectors, CBN has assisted over 80 community broadband projects directly. For more information visit www.broadband-uk.coop
The North East Regional Portal
Tel : 0191 487 2002