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Update: Lights go out at satellite broadband firm

Aramiska "disgusts" customers with just a few hours' notice...
Written by Will Sturgeon, Contributor

Aramiska "disgusts" customers with just a few hours' notice...

Satellite broadband provider Aramiska today informed customers it is shutting down, giving many just a few hours to find an alternative service provider before the service ceased at 15:00(GMT).

In the case of customers in remote and rural areas Aramiska's satellite service has at times been the only option for those too far from the nearest broadband-enabled telephone exchange or cable networks.

Now those customers must look elsewhere.

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, 27th of January 2006."

One aggrieved customer, Neil Boreland, told silicon.com that email notification left him with just a few 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. eHotspot didn't respond to enquiries from silicon.com.

Angry customers confirmed to silicon.com that at 15:00(GMT) the service went down.

Jamie Binns wrote in an email: "Today's been by no means a great day for us. We had a transitional period in which service has been reduced but we've been in the fortunate position of having a number of different internet connections in place which has meant we were flexible enough to cope. I feel for all those customers out there who were relying on Aramiska to provide a business critical service.

"Five hours notice to cease such a service is a joke; I don't care what the circumstances."

If you are, or used to be, an Aramiska customer we would love to hear your thoughts. Post a Reader Comment below or email us at editorial@silicon.com.

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