Northern Ireland

Better broadband from Ballycastle to Ballynahinch

Nik Fox
Image caption Nik Fox's company aims to vastly improve broadband speed for internet users.

For town and city dwellers in Northern Ireland, going online is usually a pretty simple experience.

Streaming videos or downloading music can also be done - for the most part - quickly and with ease.

But for thousands of rural dwellers and businesses, access to high speed broadband services remains limited.

Spotting the gap in provision, technical engineer Nik Fox, began examining potential locations for transmitters.

After a successful pilot project with 15 subscribers in County Antrim, his company, Sapphire, is now ready to roll-out a full service to residential and business customers in County Down.

"We were able to provide the subscribers with internet provision 10 times faster than they were getting," said Mr Fox.

Super-fast broadband connection is considered to be at least 24 megabits. Mr Fox said he will be offering different service levels to domestic and business customers.

"The technology allows us to offer up to 100 megabits at the moment. Customers will be able to receive broadband speeds up to 30Mbps and no lower than 6Mbps," he said.

Nik said he is confident his company can deliver on quality.

"The dishes have a low failure rate so they don't require much maintenance. And if there's a problem, you don't have to contact a call centre in Mongolia.

"The team is local, someone can be there in a few hours and that's good for business."