Satellite was internet saviour

We live in a small rural community in Seine Maritime. The phone system here is ancient and unreliable

2 September 2010

We live in a small rural community in Seine Maritime. The phone system here is ancient and unreliable.

The only way we could use the internet was with a dial-up connection with speeds of between 28-35 kb/second.

The major problems with this were: when on the internet, the phone was engaged; when we received an email with a photograph attached it could take half-an-hour or more to download; video or radio sites were totally out of the question.

Wireless and line-of-sight systems were not available because of the hills and valleys around our property and mobile phone connections to the internet were also not possible because the signal was too weak for the same reason.

When we contacted the local mairie we were greeted with the sad reply – we know, we have the same problem.

After a while the mairie contacted us with news of satellite access via Nordnet and grants available at the time from the conseil général.

We sent off the necessary forms and eventually received the kit, which included everything to install it yourself.

My wife took a dim view of me climbing on the roof so we selected an installer from a list that came with the kit.

We now can access the internet at a speed of one mbyte/second, email attachments are no longer a problem, neither are radio programmes or video clips.

It is more expensive than the systems available to our friends and we don’t have access to combined phone and internet packages but we have now at least moved into the 21st Century with regards to the internet and communications.

Most of the e400 setup cost was covered by grants leaving us with about e100 to pay.

The advice, support and grants we received from the mairie and the conseil général have been much appreciated.

Toni and Alex Prette
Via email

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