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Broadband Satellite Pilot: final report


The project, run by SE Borders, SE Dumfries and Galloway, and later by SE Forth Valley, aimed to test the suitability of broadband satellite delivery and assist in establishing a sustainable and affordable means of broadband for peripheral areas. The interim evaluation aimed to review the selection process and installation, examine the ongoing review and comments from pilot companies, and recommendations for future projects.


The methodology consisted of response forms and incident logs from pilot companies (required as part of their acceptance onto the project).


Observes positive results where companies are using satellite broadband connections to good effect. Suggests that, despite initial difficulties, 58% of companies reported positive effects on their business and will continue to do so after the pilot projects have finally reported. Highlights a number of issues, including: companies’ lack of knowledge of potential broadband uses; companies’ choice of supplier; poor installation by the suppliers; a lack of installation documentation; a poor aftercare service; a lack of technical staff on the help desks; SME’s lack of technical knowledge; reported difficulties using FTP with some applications; e-mail and the complete lack of Virtual Private Network (VPN); and the perception of the companies as to the deliverables of satellite.


Recommends that providers offer pre-purchase demonstrations and correctly measure performance. Suggests that LECs should ensure that: their advisers undertake training to give unbiased advice; targeted companies are invited to awareness seminars prior to broadband selection; companies have a pre-site inspection survey; satellite providers provide good quality installation teams; local companies seek installation training. Providers should: supply technical manual in various formats; encourage a pre-site technical survey; ensure the presence of an IT Support Analyst during installation. Advises a further meeting with BT to establish implementation of the solutions. Concludes that SE should push for technology development, monitor the evolution of technology, undertake quarterly reviews of the pilot, test alternative provision within the Broadband Demonstration Centres and target potential users to attend awareness workshops.

Author Yvonne Gray, YG Consultancy
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Business infrastructure
    Supporting key sectors
  • Sectors
    Digital markets and enabling technologies
  • Enterprise
    Sector-level support