New NFU Affinity Partner To Deliver Satellite Broadband Services To Remote Members

Union Urges Members To Seek Out Support For Superfast Connections

NFU Scotland is urging those farmers and crofters suffering from dismal broadband speeds to investigate their eligibility for free superfast satellite broadband upgrade under the Digital Scotland Program.

A substantial number of farmers and crofters across Scotland still struggle with poor broadband services, creating frustration when it comes to running their business, completing forms or simply accessing the internet.

As part of the Digital Scotland plan, the Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme will cover or contribute to the cost of installing improved wireless or satellite broadband for eligible businesses and homes who are currently stuck with speeds of less than two megabytes per second (Mbps). The Scheme offers a voucher worth up to £350 for each home and business and is part of the broader ambition to have the whole of the country enjoying superfast broadband by 2020.

Under the Scheme, Digital Scotland has released an initial 2,000 postcodes that automatically qualify to receive a voucher towards a broadband upgrade. A further tranche of postcodes covering the Highlands and Islands are expected in due course.

To assist its members, NFU Scotland has announced a new affinity partnership with Avonline Broadband to provide satellite broadband services to our members who are struggling to access acceptable broadband speeds.

As part of the service, members can contact Avonline direct on 0303 303 3131 or email:[email protected] for information and advice. Avonline will also be able to advise members on whether their postcode qualifies for the Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme. If eligible, the voucher will provide the hardware and installation free. Working with Avonline, the Union has also managed to negotiate significant savings on wi-fi routers and other member benefits.

As a long-term affinity partner for NFU England and Wales, Avonline’s team are extremely experienced at handling satellite broadband enquires, from the initial telephone call right through to the installation of the system.

NFU Scotland’s Sales and Marketing Manager David Lewington said: “Connectivity remains a big concern for many farmers and crofters across Scotland where unacceptable internet access can have a big impact at both a business and a personal level.

“Whether they are in the deepest corner of Stranraer or the northern corner of Shetland, I urge members to investigate whether they are in one of the 2000 postcodes already announced that qualify for a substantial level of funding to assist with wireless or satellite broadband installation with the expectation of more postcodes in Highlands and Islands to follow. There is initial funding for 30,000 businesses and homes so it is worth cracking on with an enquiry if you think this applies to you.

“The good news is that, thanks to our new affinity deal with Avonline Broadband, information on whether your postcode qualifies for support is only a phone call or an email away. And when it comes to advice on installation and packages or member savings on equipment, Avonline Broadband has been installing these systems since 2002, been partnered with NFU England for 5 years, and have connected more than 20,000 satellite broadband systems.

“This is a real exciting opportunity for our members to get connected and enjoy speeds that will really enable their business and family to enjoy what many take for granted in well-connected areas.”

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