Monday 8 June 2009

Getting Connected

Finally, after three months on a waiting list, we are connected to the internet here in Letterfinlay, albeit rather shakily. It’s really a bit of a relief. However, I still don’t even have a stable enough connection to run a software update.

Our ISP is a London company called Avanti Communications. We need to get out connection via satellite here since we are too far from the telephone exchange to get any useful connection. That said, I’m beginning to wonder if it might have been just as good? Avanti were awarded a contract to supply houses in the remoter parts of the highlands with broadband via satellite by the Scottish Government. We get free installation, they get the customers. But it’s turning out to be more of a winner for Avanti than for the customers I think!

We put ourselves on the waiting list for installation as soon as we were committed to buying our new house, back in early March. We figured we’d have the connection up and running in plenty of time for moving in at the end of March. But March, then April, then the first half of May went by before Avanti ‘were in our area’. 

When the man came to bolt our satellite dish to the house in mid May, he announced it still wouldn’t be connected until the start of June because Avanti were upgrading their own equipment.

What a mission. I’m told from various sources that we don’t have much choice to find another provider that can get us a more reliable broadband connection, at any price, never mind Avanti’s £60 a month. But if anyone knows of something better we can do, we’d love to hear your beta!

Thankfully we can just about get by with a slow and shaky connection to run our respective web businesses. But I sure wouldn’t like to try setting up a business in the highlands that needs anything like a fast connection by city standards.

Anyhow, for now we are just going to enjoy being connected at all.

[UPDATE] After returning from a film festival in France and turning on the computer again. Our connection is seeming rather more healthy, thankfully. Still slower than our old connection via telephone line in the city lights of Fort William, but enough to update some software and post pictures to my blog. Wahay!


  1. I guess mobile broadband wasn't an option for you - no mobile signal where you are now? That's probably only (!) £40 / month.

  2. Looks like at some point you might manage to get some faster speeds from Avanti:

    Assuming the launch vehicle doesn't blow up, as these things seem to have a habit of doing