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Minister launches scheme to improve broadband speed in remote areas

Enterprise Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell has announced details of a new Government scheme aimed at improving broadband speeds in remote areas of Northern Ireland. The Satellite Broadband Support Scheme will allow homes and businesses to get a subsidized satellite broadband connection if they are currently unable to obtain a broadband service of at least 2mbps.

“I recognize 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,” said Minister Bell.

“The scheme ministered by my Department will provide a code to eligible homes and businesses upon request. They can then use the code with one of a ed number of retail service providers to obtain a subsidized satellite broadband service, including in most cases a free satellite dish and installation saving people up to £350.”

“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,”      the Minister added.

The code the Minister referred to does not have a specific fixed value, but when used to obtain a satellite broadband service from one of the selected retail service providers, the use of the code will reduce the total cost (ie. Installation and commissioning costs plus 12 monthly subscriptions), by around £350. It should be noted that users will be responsible for paying any remaining cost of installation and commissioning (If any), choosing the features of the satellite broadband service they require and for paying the monthly subscription for the service they selected (for a minimum period of 12 months). More information on the operation of the scheme in Northern Ireland can be found on the Broadband Programme website at http://www.detni.gov.uk


Newry Reporter

3rd February 2016