Satellite broadband provider Aramiska has informed customers that it is shutting down as of today — and left many just a few hours to find an alternative service provider.
For many customers looking to get online in remote and rural areas Aramiska's satellite service has at times been the only option as they were too far from the nearest broadband-enabled telephone exchange or cable networks.
Now those customers have been told by the company their connection will be going down today.
An email from Aramiska, sent out at around 10:00(GMT), stated: "We regret to inform you that Aramiska and its services are shutting down and the company will be unable to provide you with Internet access after today, 27 January, 2006."
One aggrieved customer, Neil Boreland, told ZDNet UK sister site silicon.com that email notification leaves him with just seven hours to find an alternative provider.
He added: "I wonder how many rural businesses are going to go bust because they rely on satellite broadband supplied by this company.
"I think it's absolutely disgusting that customers who have been paying a premium for these services are given such little notice."
Aramiska, in association with a company called eHotspot, provided wireless Internet access to 200 rural communities around the UK. It also provided connectivity to community broadband schemes up and down the country.
Nobody was answering the phones at Aramiska.