Satellite Broadband – the facts

If you are one of the people unable to access the superfast fibre network, the latest generation of satellite broadband services offering up to 22Mbps might be just the solution that you were looking for – and it already covers 100% of the County.

Why do we need it?

The iNorthumberland programme is bringing fibre to the majority of properties in Northumberland, but given the geography and population density in the county there is not enough money to connect every property to fibre.

As a result, Northumberland County Council is working closely with Avonline Broadband – a partner that offers a wide range of packages including the fastest satellite broadband service available in Europe.

Because satellite broadband provides 100% coverage of the County, it means that there is an immediate solution for those homes or businesses without a fibre solution in the foreseeable future.

satHow does it work?

It is very simple – rather than a fixed line connection (using fibre or copper lines), a 74cm satellite dish on you wall connects you invisibly to the internet using a satellite.

It is similar to the way that Freesat or Sky delivers their TV services from a satellite to a mini-dish at each customer’s house.

At your home or business, the satellite dish outside connects via a cable to the broadband modem inside – after that, you use the broadband inside your home is much the same as any other broadband service. Find out more here

How much does it cost?

Like all broadband services, pricing and packages change over time and there are often promotions that save you money. Avonline’s up to date packages can be found here.

As a general overview the three things that you need to consider are the hardware, the installation and the monthly package.

  • Most customers now take advantage of renting the hardware with their monthly service which costs £5 per month. That way there is no upfront cost to pay for the hardware. If you did want to buy it, it costs around £300.
  • Avonline has a flat-rate installation cost of £100 anywhere on mainland UK and they usually install in about a week. Other options include DIY or sourcing your own local installer.
  • With satellite broadband, the amount of data that you use each month determines what package is right for you and how much you pay for your monthly service. Avonline Broadband’s Prices start at £9.95 per month with their popular 22Mbps ToowayTM service starting at £24.95 for 10GB per month.

Our price comparison partner Cable also has information on some of the latest satellite broadband deals here.

Is there financial support available towards the cost of installing satellite broadband? 

The Government has committed to giving access to 2Mbps download speed to every premises in the UK from the end of 2015.

As part of this commitment, Northumberland County Council, in conjunction with Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), is making available the option of a subsidised satellite broadband installation for eligible premises.  This provides support towards the cost of equipment and installation of a satellite broadband connection so that a basic broadband service can be purchased for a first year cost of no more than £400 (taking account of any up front costs and the 12 month service charges). The subsidised installation can also be used to access higher cost packages with higher speeds or greater monthly data caps.

For more information about this scheme click here.

What else do I need to know?

We listed our top 3 pros and cons below but it is really is quite a straight-forward solution. If you cannot get a decent fixed line broadband connection where you live or work, satellite will provide a fast and reliable service and guarantees coverage wherever you live in the County.

Another great benefit for many customers is that you do not need a fixed telephone line with satellite. That means you can cancel your monthly line rental that for most saves around £200 a year. Using VoIP you can even transfer your existing BT telephone number and use it with your satellite broadband service.

Avonline also offers a “Fibre Guarantee” which means that if, at any point in the future you are able to access a decent fibre connection, you can just give 30 days notice that you wish to switch over to fibre and Avonline will sort it out for you.

Pros & Cons

Ultimately, the strengths or weaknesses of any service depend upon what you, as a customer want to use the service for. We’ve set-out below the most common pros/cons about using satellite broadband.


How do I find our more?

The AvonlineBroadband website has information, videos case studies and lots more. You can also call them on 0303 303 3131 or email

Avonline has a fully equipped vehicle based in Northumberland that is available to undertake local demonstrations of the satellite broadband system. If your community is interested in receiving a demonstration contact Avonline using the details above.

Click here to read an independent review by of the Tooway Satellite Broadband (one of the two systems available through Avonline).

More information on satellite broadband is available in the following videos

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