BT Wholesale has announced that it will trial fast internet access via satellite on the UK mainland.
The service is aimed at high-use consumers and small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) based in areas where DSL or cable broadband is not available.
Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and islands off the coast of Scotland will be excluded from the trial.
However, BT spokesman Mike Bartlett said that the service is "not an all-singing, all-dancing broadband offering".
It will offer always-on access to internet and email services for download only. All uploaded data still has to travel via a standard dial-up phone line.
Downloads are received through a 65cm satellite dish at speeds of up to 256Kbit/s. More demanding users can also benefit from faster speeds up to 4Mbits/s on a pay-per-use basis.
In comparison, BT's Business 500, its entry level ADSL product for business, offers a download speed of 512Kbit/s as standard.
BT Wholesale will charge internet service providers (ISPs) around £15 a month per user for the service, so final pricing will be dependent on the ISPs themselves. The monthly charge will not include dial-up costs associated with the upstream link.
There will also be an additional one-off charge of "under £400" for the satellite dish plus installation.
But Bartlett insisted that SMEs will still find the pricing structure beneficial. "Once you've absorbed the initial dish purchase, the service will be quite cost-efficient," he said.
At present, BT has no announcement to make on ISPs participating in the trial, which is due to run from late May for six months.
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