Andrew Walwyn - Managing Director of Tooway Direct

Having recently installed a satellite broadband installation at Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation (OVMRO) headquarters, one of the busiest mountain rescue teams in the UK, we approached the Manager Director of Tooway Direct for an exclusive interview on the requirement for satellite broadband in Wales.

Click here for the full press release "Satellite Broadband To Bolster Connections at Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue"

What’s the history of the company?

Satellite Solutions Worldwide was formed in 2008 and has quickly risen to be a dominant player in the European satellite broadband market. Alongside this, it is one of the fastest growing telecoms companies in Europe. We originally sold Tooway (Ku) through our B2B Tariam brand, which is now dedicated to selling Tooway PDN and NewsSpotter. We then launched our dedicated ToowayDirect website in October 2010 to offer a consumer orientated brand in preparation for the launch of Ka Sat and the next generation Tooway offering.

What is the requirement for satellite broadband in Wales?

If you don’t already have broadband in your area or you consistently get a broadband download speed of less than 512Kbps you are in a broadband notspot. This is usually the result of the distance a premise is located from a local telephone exchange – the further away it is, the weaker the broadband signal becomes. This is a very common experience in the remoter parts of Wales.

How does satellite broadband compare to fixed line broadband?

Tooway is around 320 times faster than dial up- which is the service that many people still rely on in Wales. The speed difference speaks for itself. Satellite broadband has previously been wrongly classified as the poor, or at least slow, in relation to its wired cousin. However, since the launch of a new Ka satellite last year, satellite based internet connections have grown by 9%, according to Point Topic. Today’s faster speeds, which are accompanied by more generous data allowances, and all no change in price, mean this trend is surely set to continue. Whilst satellite broadband is unquestionably the answer for many people stuck in not spots and now boasts many tens of thousands of satisfied users, we haven’t been resting on our laurels. Customer’s expectations are naturally increasing over time; with video and streaming TV programs becoming increasingly popular, and with more and more homes having several broadband enabled devices, our customers want more performance.

The new Tooway services raise the bar to a level where traditional wired services look embarrassingly slow, even in many major towns and cities. These new service levels mean even larger families with several PC’s and smart-phone users can share the services with total confidence in getting a good user experience.

How is the Welsh Assembly supporting this?

The Broadband Support Scheme (BSS) is the Welsh Assembly Goverment’s fantastic scheme to eradicate rural not-spots in Wales. If you have poor broadband ‘speed’ of less than 2 Mb, or you don’t already have broadband, then you are eligible for the grant which covers the whole set-up cost of Tooway satellite broadband. A reliable and fast broadband connection is no longer a nicety – it’s a necessity.