The SBBS News Page
Simply Balanced has introduced new packages for use on the Avant Hylas-1 satellite. With speeds up to 15 Mbps on the down link and up to 2.5 Mbps on the up link we provide better performance than many people get on ADSL services, with no customer 'distance to the exchange' variance. With lower true contention we are also able to provide decent speeds of over 2Mbps down most of the time at the worst peak period in the evening.
Richard Barret, Simply Balanced MD stated, "As a caring business we appreciate that satellite Internet is relatively expensive compared with other technologies, however for many of my clients there is no other option. We work with our suppliers to keep costs down in order to provide the best possible services to our clients in Scotland".
These services are available now across the whole of Scotland; please click here for more details.
Simply Balanced offers 4G/LTE services
Simply Balanced now offers 4G/LTE services for customers who are able to receive them. 4G is the fourth generation of mobile phone technology and follows on from 2G and 3G. 2G technology was suitable for making calls and sending text messages while 3G makes it possible to access the Internet more effectively through your mobile phone. 4G services are designed to make it much quicker to surf the web on mobile, tablets and laptops and access services which demand more capacity such as video streaming, mapping and social networking sites.
SBBS 4G/LT starts at £11 per month for 2GB of data to £80 per month for 100GB of data. If more GBytes are required in any month boosters can be purchased. Clients can provide their own router or buy one from Simply Balanced; router prices start from £149 for a configured router
Click here for more information.
Avanti terminates QSAT contract
Avanti Communications have terminated the contract of service provider QSAT, leaving many customers with no service. Simply Balanced is working to establish a means by which former QSAT customers can transfer in to our services however this does not appear to be a straightforward process. Avanti have issued the following notice:
To continue to receive service, you must call Bentley Walker now (on 08458730266), a large and reliable Avanti service provider who will take responsibility for your account, with better service and support and good value for money. If you choose not to contact Bentley Walker the service will be suspended.
WannaCry ransomware is the latest advanced threat to take unprotected organisations around the globe hostage. The good news? The WatchGuard Total Security Suite successfully blocks this threat, protecting customers from losing data, time, and their reputation.
This attack makes clear that enterprise-grade, layered security is no longer a luxury, but is a critical need for every organization, no matter their size. WatchGuard Gateway AntiVirus (GAV) does catch many variants whilst the Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) Blocker’s behavior detection will block all current and future repacked WannaCry strains – and the WatchGuard Intrusion Prevention Service (IPS) will catch the NSA leaked MS17-010 vulnerability that it uses to spread. Additionally, Threat Detection and Response (TDR) provides the correlated information necessary to detect and remediate WannaCry and future advanced threats.
The WannaCry ransomware derives from the disclosed cache of NSA hacking tools, and it’s not the last of these that we are likely to see. Now’s the time to heed the WannaCry warning. Contact us if you have any questions regarding the Total Security Suite.
New SBBS wireless and network security products web site
We are pleased to announce that our new data network web site is now available at www.simply-balanced-networks.co.uk The new web site will concentrate on our wireless and network security products portfolio.
SBBS introduces iDirect services
Simply Balanced is delighted to announce that we are introducing iDirect services in to our portfolio. Client bandwidth demands are accelerating, driven by a tripling in the amount of people, devices and things coming onto their network in recent times. iDirect's satellite-based IP communications technology enables constant connectivity for voice, video & data applications in every environment bringing these adavantages:
- Guaranteed minimum download bandwidth
- Flexible and scaleable
- Lower contention ratios
- High reliability
- High bandwidth efficiency - lowers operating costs
- Through performance enhancements mitigating the effects of latency over satellite.
Our iDirect services are ideal for providing reliable and economical internet connections in the Scottish Highlands and Islands; typical customers include:
- Field Sports Estates
- Research stations
SBBS provides Wi-Fi facilities for Don't Walk Fashion event
The Don't Walk Fashion charity event took place at Cambo Estate on the 25th of February. Simply Balanced provided Wi-Fi and Internet connectivity during the event using our rapid deployment satellite internet and wireless mesh Wi-Fi system. Four seperate Wi-Fi networks wwere established for use by the event management team, artists, Yo-Yo Wallet and guests.
Free Wi-Fi may put you at risk....
Be warned that the useful free Wi-Fi in your local library, café or the hotel you are staying in may not be safe for confidential email and browsing. Public Wi-Fi often offers no encryption security to its users, and your signals are broadcast for anyone savvy enough to eavesdrop. It's very easy for even a junior hacker to intercept your un-encrypted wi-fi signal using an Evil Twin phoney hotspot or a Firefox Tamper Data plugin. Public Wi-Fi is terribly insecure, and is perhaps the biggest reason why mobile/wireless users should consider spending a few pounds per month for the safety of a VPN connection.
If you log into a public Wi-Fi network, and then connect to a personal VPN, all your hotspot web use will then be encrypted and hidden from prying eyes.
So, if you are a traveller or a user who is regularly using public wireless, then a VPN is a very wise investment in privacy.
Be careful out there!
New download speeds of up to 30Mbps on Tooway Business packages
Skylogic have increased the download speed on Tooway Business service packages to "up to 30Mbps". Whilst we welcome any improvements that Skylogic make to their services we cannot help but think that most business users will not notice much difference in their service with this change.
SBBS promotes the latest in advanced Wi-Fi systems
Where is the data going? Who is using it all? Two questions that we hear a lot these days. The huge uptake in smart phones, tablets and pads in recent years has led to a corresponding increase in the amount of data required by individuals and organisations. This in turn has led to business owners requiring more insight in to what their employees are using the data for. The insights provided by these systems are essential to business owners faced with spiralling data costs; even more so for clients using Satellite Internet terminals for their connectivity where data caps and high operating costs are the norm.
SBBS provides leading edge technology Wi-Fi products from Ubiquiti, aimed at small to medium sized businesses, guest houses and hotels and Ruckus, for larger organisations, hotels and venues. These systems feature management controls that provide in depth analytics in data and graphical forms that allow you to keep track of users and data usage.
By utilizing separate networks for VIP's, staff and guests hotel operators can control the levels of access, speed of circuit and much more.
Tools such as these allow you to control your network, analyze your traffic, determine who and what is using up your data and achieve economies across your network.
Are poor TripAdvisor reviews getting you down?
Have you taken a look at your TripAdvisor ratings lately? If things are looking ugly, there may be a simple explanation: bad Wi-Fi. 83 percent of hotel guests take the time to report a bad Wi-Fi experience, and 36 percent won’t rebook if they had one. You can invest all you want in snazzy rooms and fancy lobbies. If your guests can’t get a strong, consistent wireless connection—for all their devices and multimedia applications, everywhere on your property—they won’t be coming back. (source: Ruckus)
Don’t stress though, Ruckus has you covered. There’s a reason why 70 percent of the hospitality market—and 86 percent of the world’s luxury properties—rely on Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi. We can help you deliver world-class wireless connectivity that your guests can brag about.
SBBS Director addresses Kippen Roadshow
SBBS Director Dick Barrett was one of the speakers at a roadshow initiative in Kippen organised by Stirling Council. Speakers from broadband suppliers, BT and local government made short presentations to an audience comprising of interested individuals and representatives from local groups. Afterwards there was an opportunity to meet folk and carry out some networking.
Events such as this enable communities poorly served by conventional wire based internet to explore alternatives such as Wireless Wide Area Networks, Fibre to the cabinet and to the home as well as Satellite Internet.
Teamviewer users beware!
There has been a spate of security breaches involving Teamviewer users. Teamviewer allows remote access to a computer and is often used in SCADA and CCTV applications. The issues centre arround the re-use of passwords by the user across multiple sites; hackers get access to the password used on one site then try using it on other sites
Teamviewer claims that the victims of the attacks had reused their TeamViewer login passwords on other websites that have been breached, such as LinkedIn and Tumblr. Armed with copies of those leaked passwords and email addresses, TeamViewer claims, thieves then log into people's TeamViewer accounts and access connected PCs.
You can read the whole story at: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/06/03/teamviewer_beefs_up_security/
A trip down memory lane....
Returning through Angus from a survey I found myself passing Brechin Satellite Earth Station where I worked for Cable and Wireless as a technician for three years up to mid 2002. I couldn't resist stopping by and getting this picture of Thunderbird 2 next to the 11m Bre-1 antenna.
In the background are the 8.1m Bre-2 and the 4.6m Bre-3 antennae.
Microsoft get sneaky....
According to The Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/sep/11/microsoft-downloading-windows-1) Windows 7 and 8 users have lost up to 6GB of their hard drive space to the Windows 10 update package. That means customers have unknowingly used at least 6GB of their satellite data allowance and probably a lot more when you take the data transfer overheads in to account.
What's more, Microsoft has recently started scheduling the update to occur automatically without the user's knowledge. You can check if the update has been scheduled by (carefully!) clicking on the white square button that has been appearing at the bottom of your screen.
Where is my data going?
There are endless permutations that could contribute to your data usage; here are some examples that may help you to track down the heavy users......
Anything connected to your satellite data network could use your data
Everything that goes through the satellite terminal is measured
Satellite data usage meters combine both upload and download to give an overall usage figure
Internet enabled/smart Television receivers
Sky satellite TV receivers
Sonos, Jongo, Samsung, Bose and similar sound systems
Internet enabled/smart radio receivers
Gaming consoles such as Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo
Streaming TV and radio programmes
Streaming music from Spotify, BBC
Youtube video clips
Netflix and similar movie sites
iPlayer and STV player catch up TV programmes
On line computer games
Xbox, Playstaion, Nintendo Console games
Skype, Facetime, Hangouts
Drop Box and file transfers
Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections to the office
Photo sharing, Flickr
In the background:
Operating System updates
Online backup such as Norton
Drop box updates
Router activity such as DNS look up, routing table updates
Neighbours can access your Wi-Fi
Other people have your Wi-Fi access code such as neighbours, family, friends, lodgers or guests
Virus/Trojan programmes not up to date
can I check my data
You can check your data usage on the customer portals:
Tooway users can access this in the http://checkportal.skylogicnet.com/
Avanti users can access this in at http://portal.avantiplc.com
Please note that these links can only be accessed when you are connected to your satellite data network.
SBBS Web Site and Email Security
The Simply Balanced web site is a vitally important resource, both for us and for our customers and enquirers. We have a business policy of continuous improvement so, for trust reasons as well as in preparation for some features we are going to introduce, we have installed an SSL certificate on our web server.
SSL is an acronym for Secure Sockets Layer, a technology that creates an encrypted connection between our web server and our visitors' web browser allowing for information to be transmitted without the problems of eavesdropping, data tampering, or message forgery. The first thing you may notice is the green padlock with the name of our parent company in the address bar:
As well as data encryption our certificate also provides authentication. You will see a Trust Seal on each page. Clicking on this seal opens a pop up window that displays our certificate credentials. This means you can be sure that you are sending information to the right server and not to a criminal’s server. The nature of the Internet means that you will be sending information through many devices such as routers, switches and servers, it is possible for a device to pretend to be our website and trick you into sending them personal information. This can be avoided by using an SSL Certificate from a trusted SSL provider.
We are using 256 bit encryption; the presence of SSL means you can rest assured that communications (e.g. email addresses, telephone numbers, credit card numbers an so on) between your browser and this site's web servers are private and secure when the SSL session is activated.
We having been using SSL for communications between our our email servers and our devices such as Blackberry's and laptops for some time now to provide security of our communications.
Simply Balanced is the only UK Satellite Internet Service Provider providing this level of data protection to our customers and enquirers.
Grants, Vouchers and Schemes....
We have decided not to get
involved with the present schemes that offer vouchers, free
installation and so
on. Our decision is based on a number of factors:
- There is very little, if any commercial benefit for us
- It is hard to see how we could support these terminals post installation given that there is very little commercial benefit for us
- One of the schemes uses equipment that we do not consider as being robust enough for the Scottish climate
- The administration of these schemes is very burdensome for a small company such as ours
- Some schemes dictate that we have to purchase the equipment from a competitor
- One of our strengths is our customer support, we feel that this will suffer greatly and our reputation may suffer if we get involved with third party providers and bureaucratic administrations
experience of such schemes showed that inferior equipment was used, the
service was over hyped and the equipment was hastily installed with
little thought to aesthetics or customer wishes
- The use of subsidies creates a playing field tilted in favour of the larger companies who have the resources to take advantage of these schemes whilst small independent companies such as ours are effectively frozen out.
Any colour you like!
Satellite antennas can have a large visual impact on a building; see the white Tooway antenna in the pictures. To reduce the visual impact SBBS has supplied a grey Tooway antenna for use on a visually sensitive building. Using standard industry colour selections we can match the finish to most backgrounds. Now how many satellite internet providers will do that for their customers?
Meet Thunderbird 2; the latest Simply Balanced van:
Rood Signs of Inverurie have done a fantastic job of applying our livery to our new Mercedes Vito van. This 109 CDI version replaces the 110 CDI, it is cheaper to run, we'll have less impact on the environment and it is cheaper to insure! We are very pleased with our Mercedes vehicles; safety and reliability is crucial for our operations in the Scottish highlands. The cargo space is the same as the old van and it handles well too.
SBBS to the rescue!
One of our customers on the Black Isle had a disaster at the beginning of February when a chimney stack fell down, taking their Avanti satellite internet antenna with it. We were on site a few days later to set up a temporary antenna on an NPRM ground stand to get them up and running until the repair works have been completed.
Thanks to Krystal, our web and mail hosting provider, none of our servers went down on "Black Friday"!
Simply Balanced has been appointed as a reseller for C-Com Satellite Systems Inc of Canada. We are looking forward to bringing their iNetVu "Drive Away" and "Fly Away" products to our market in the near future.
The C-Com iNetVu® Ka-98G Drive-Away Antenna (left) is a 98 cm auto-acquire satellite antenna system designed for use with Avanti, Gilat and iDirect modems. It can be mounted on the roof of a vehicle for direct broadband access over any configured satellite. The system works seamlessly with the iNetVu® 7024 Controller providing fast satellite acquisition within minutes, anywhere anytime. Available with or without pod.lessly with the iNetVu® 7024 Controller providing fast satellite acquisition within minutes, anywhere anytime. Available with or without pod.
Simply Balanced has appointed CEDR Services Ltd to provide Dispute Resolotion Services through their Communications & Internet Services Adjudication Scheme (CISAS) in accordance with Ofcom requirements.
Lyndsey Wallace has joined us at SBBS. Lyndsey will be taking on the day to day financial management of our business as our Financial Controller and bookkeeper.
The transition to VAT accounting has been completed; our invoices will show VAT from now on. Our registration is effective from 1st June 2015 so if you are registered for VAT and require an amended invoice please contact us. Thanks to Kashflow, our accounts software provider, for the robber pic!
We will be providing internet connectivity at the 2015 World Orienteering Championships during the first week of August. We will be running two terminals, an Avanti and a Tooway providing connectivity to the organisers via a combination of cabled and Line of Sight links. My coffee pot will be there if you come by for a chat and Sandra is taking "Ruby", her Cafe2u Supreme Bean Machine.
Guests who use the internet indiscriminately are the bane of many holiday let owners; to prevent this we are now offering guest Wi-Fi facilities on our new TP-Link routers. This is ideal for holiday lets as it allows the owner to access the internet at up to full speed whilst guests are limited to a slower speed to prevent them using up all the bandwidth.
It's Show Time!
We are looking forward to getting out and about with our mobile systems this summer; Simply Balance is proud and delighted to announce that we have been selected to provide satellite internet facilities to the organisers of the 2015 World Orienteering Championships during August.
Goodbye to the Fax
Please be advised that we will be ceasing our fax number 0870 70 60 345 with effect from the 26th of August 2015; please amend you records. We cannot recall when we last received a fax, certainly not in the last five years so we have taken the decision to dispense with this service. All our other Contact details remain the same
We are now offering satellite internet services via Avanti's Hylas-2 satellite at 31E using the same hardware as we use on Hylas-1 at 33.5W. This will provide alternative solutions for when the line of sight path to Hylas-1 is blocked by trees, buildings or mountains.
Whilst the hardware is the same, the service plan structure is different to our current services and we will be issuing a supplement to our current Avanti based pricing in the next few days.
This addition to our portfolio strengthens our claims of providing a better service to our customers than our competitors.
Happy New Year! We hope that the coming year is a peaceful one and we send our customers our best wishes.
Avanti installations will become easier thanks to the introduction of an new Android app. The app eliminates the need for tools including: a horizon satellite meter, a laptop, an external GPS unit, a compass/inclinometer or a camera. The service allows engineers to better perform install job management; satellite model configuration and alignment; and service commissioning, testing and reporting.
Tooway have seen the light at last and introduced a residential 40GB package in time for Christmas! The new package has a "day time" allowance of 40GB/month and will help to fill the gap between the 25GB and the 100GB packages.
SBBS Team addition
We are delighted to welcome Natalie Morris to our team. As our PA Natalie will handle our telephone calls and customer liaison.
Increasing work loads have meant that Sandra and Dick are often out of the office, leading to clients and enquirers being diverted to our messaging service. This went against one of our stated objectives, to provide a better, more personal service to our clients. Natalie's appointment will help our business to become more customer focussed.
Our Avanti “up to 15Mbps” services have been available for a few months now and are proving to be easier to manage and understand than our earlier Avanti offerings. Customers on the older “up to 8Mbps” services can upgrade to the up to the new packages if they wish, more information is available are available on the SBBS website
Tooway have confused the market by offering services from two incompatible ranges. Whilst it is possible to switch between these ranges clients are advised to contact us for information and advice. Currently we only offer the latest generation of Tooway service packages on the SBBS website
Our accounts provider Kashflow carried out some maintenance in the wee small hours of Tuesday morning, 28th October; since then we have noticed that a number of clients have received two copies of their invoice. We are monitoring the situation and apologise for any inconvenience that this may have caused.
Several clients use VoIP telephones on their satellite system. VoIP telephones enhance the functionality of satellite internet systems however from time to time we are obliged to remind you that you should not rely on these devices for life support or safety critical situations. Please contact us should you require advice or more information regarding the use of VoIP telephones over satellite Internet systems.
T’s & C’s
A reminder that our business Terms and Conditions are available on the SBBS website however we can send you printed copies if you prefer.Seafood!!!!
Sandra and I love seafood so we were delighted when one of our new clients (thank you Angus!) recommended Andrew MacLugash’ Samphire Seafood Restaurant in Inveraray. We had a lovely meal there and we are looking forward to calling in again next time we are in the area.
Our new Avanti based service packages are now available!
It is with great pleasure that Simply Balanced Business Services announce new higher up to speeds and a new service structure starting from 1st July 2014. Additionally, we are providing more data volumes per month in our service packages. The key changes are:
- Faster services; up to 15Mbps download, up to 2.5Mbps upload speeds
- Change from 30 day rolling data counter to a monthly period
counter (with reset at start of month).
- FUP and VBB options for services. FUP starts acting from about 70% of data volume limit reached and then when limit reached the service is redirected to our portal web page. GByte Boosters can be purchased to restore services. VBB service have no FUP applied and you are automatically charged if you go over your data volume limit. You do get email warning at 80% of limit reached and daily emails when the limit has been exceeded.
- The Night Unlimited option has been extended by one hour and runs from Midnight to 07:00 hours GMT.
- Removal of the RESIDENTIAL UNLIMITED service.
June 2014Coming Soon: New higher speed Avanti based service packages running at up to 15Mbps - watch this space!
We have been making some major changes around the web site:
New Tooway pricing available here
Updated Terms and Conditions here
New document downloads here
April 2014Sonos Wireless Hi-Fi...
Following successful trials Simply Balanced is pleased to offer Sonos system components for use on our Tooway and Avanti satellite internet systems.
Sonos is a system of HiFi wireless speakers and audio components. It unites your digital music collection in one app that you control from any device. Play what you want in every room over a dedicated wireless network. The Sonos Controller app lets you browse and play your music from any device. Use your smart phone, tablet, or computer to stream different songs in each room, group rooms together, or hear the same beat everywhere..
With easy access to iTunes, Spotify, Tunein, Napster and other online sources the Sonos system allows you to stream your favourite music over the satellite internet connection.
Sonos wireless speakers are custom designed for every space in your home. From the compact PLAY:1 to the TV-compatible PLAYBAR, the Sonos line-up fills any room with crystal clear HiFi sound at any volume.
Please note that we cannot guarantee that Sonos will work on our satellite systems as this would be contrary to our wholesaler's Terms and Conditions however it has worked fine for us so far with streaming apps such as Spotify over our 10Mbps Tooway system and we have successfully deployed Sonos to several Tooway customers in Scotland. Please see our Terms and Conditions.
are introducing new, higher speed consumer services for 2014; please
see the Tooway
page for the full details.
The last three months
exceptionally busy with many enquiries and quite a few sales and
installations too. Combined with the traditional Scottish winter
weather this has proved quite challenging however we hope that we have
maintained our high levels of service throughout.
Simply Balanced Business Services is pleased to announce that we are now offering the Snom 300 VoIP telephone for use on our satellite internet systems.
Simply Balanced also offers the Cisco SPA112 VoIP adaptor adapter which has two ports for connecting existing ordinary telephones. Use in conjunction with your existing analogue DECT phones for a corded or cordless VoIP solution.
Sourced from a leading provider and based on open IP standards, these VoIP telephone products connect to any kind of IP network, including the Internet, and enable telephone calls to be be made via the internet to anywhere in the world.
Please note that we cannot guarantee that VoIP will work on our satellite systems as this would be contrary to our wholesaler's Terms and Conditions however it has worked fine for us so far over our 10Mbps Tooway system and we have successfully deployed our VoIP telephones and adapters to several Tooway and Avanti based customers in Scotland. Please see our Terms and Conditions.
Happy New Year! We hope that the coming year is a peaceful one and we send our customers our best wishes.
Global travelers are looking for a home-away-from-home experience when they stay in a hotel according to the latest research from leading online accommodation booking service, Hotels.com. Topping the list of must-have hotel amenities are free Wi-Fi and free food and beverages, with caffeine being a must. All the rest is just, well… extra.
Staying Connected…for Free
- 34 percent say free Wi-Fi is the number one factor in choosing a hotel even on leisure stays.
- 56 percent of respondents said free Wi-Fi was their number one must-have when traveling for business.
- 66 percent indicated free Wi-Fi is the amenity they most wish would become standard at all hotels in 2013.
Faster Broadband for Scotland - Internet exchange point 'will speed up access'
A dedicated internet
(IXP), which will make it easier for internet service providers in
Scotland to pass traffic to each other, is to go live this week.
is expected to reduce internet "lag" time by up to 75%. Currently most
of Scotland's internet traffic goes through London, Manchester or
Leeds, which can result in delays.IXScotland, which is based at the
Pulsant data centre in Edinburgh, was set up by the London Internet
Exchange (Linx). Click here
for the full story.
Unfortunately many people in Scotland will not notice any difference as
their internet infrastructure delivers speeds far below that which
IXP's work at and will continue to do so for quite some time. As we
reported below, Broadband UK is falling behind with upgrading rural
communities to the extent that maximum speeds delivered by 2017 will be
pegged at the basic 2Mbps over large parts of Scotland. Digital
promising that all of Scotland will have access to a world class
digital infrastructure by 2020 however it is not giving much away
regarding the eventual capacity. If and when broadband speeds
excess of 2Mbps come it is likely that they will be confined to
clusters such as towns and villages; those living in isolated dwellings
may only get the basic 2Mbps service, if they are lucky!
August 2013BT signal the end of Dial Up internet connections.
BT have announced that it will turn off its dial-up internet access service on 1 September. The company said that the shut-down meant about 1,000 people who lived in remote areas would not be able to move to broadband as their phone line was incapable of supporting the technology.
You can read the whole story at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23877364
UK rural broadband roll out criticised by auditors
The National Audit Office has criticised the UK rural broadband roll out for late delivery, delays and cost over runs. The NAO has also raised concerns that BT would be the only firm likely to win contracts.
Despite revised deadlines it appears that the Scottish Highlands and Islands, Cumbria, Norfolk and Suffolk may not get access to even the basic 2Mbps service before the end of 2017.
The NAO report prompted claims that the Department for Culture Media and Sport's did not have a "good enough grip" on its programme and that BT had been "cagey" about its costs.
"Opaque data and limited benchmarks for comparison means the department has no idea if BT is being reasonable or adding in big mark ups," said Labour MP Margaret Hodge, who is the chair of Parliament's Public Accounts Committee.
The NAO report would seem to indicate that satellite broadband
internet with speeds of up to 20Mbps will be the only viable solution
for delivering high speed internet to many remote locations for several
years to come.
You can read the whole article at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23173157
Scottish 6 Days Orienteering EventSimply Balanced was selected to provide internet communications for the Scottish 6 Days Orienteering event held in Moray from 28th July to 3rd August.
We were on hand with a Tooway terminal mounted on a Mercedes Vito van to provide a 10Mbps download/4Mbps upload internet connection. The modem and router equipment was stowed in the van to protect it from the occasional summer shower whilst we took shelter in the front. Power was provided by a 3kW petrol generator and an 80m Ethernet cable connected us to the event organiser's LAN. The internet connection enabled race data to be uploaded to the internet for public viewing whilst data from trackers carried by competitors was downloaded for processing on site and could be displayed on a large TV screen.
Telephone communications was achieved by utilising Blackberry 9300 Curve handsets operating over the internet via the Orange/EE UMA facility.
ConvergenceConvergence is a buzz word that is often bandied about but what does it mean? For SBBS it means bring technologies together to work efficiently thus realising critical gains for our clients. SBBS has worked hard to source cutting edge technologies from leading manufacturers that will work efficiently together to realise client expectations.
For example, a client might wish to monitor a remote shooting lodge in the Scottish Highlands from their office or home in the city. SBBS can provide satellite broadband internet systems to connect the lodge to the internet. IP cameras capable of day or night viewing to warn of intruders or curious sightseers can be installed. Controls can be accessed remotely from a smart phone or tablet to start the main generator and switch on the lights and heating prior to the guests arriving. Fuel levels for heating and power can be checked. A wifi wireless mesh data network that can be accessed from the owners main residence or office would have a public virtual network to allow guests internet access inside the lodge and outside in the grounds, without them being aware of or having access to the private network.
Moreover, the external IP CCTV cameras and wifi wireless mesh equipment are capable of starting and operating in temperates as low as -40C making them ideal for winter operations in the Scottish Highlands.
If satellite TV reception at the lodge is blocked by trees or mountains, a remotely sited dish could be installed. Ideal for use in mountainous Scottish regions, the system employs a commercial quality high gain satellite TV antenna and optical fibre technologies to enable a satellite TV dish to be sited many hundreds of metres away from the lodge where the TV signal can be viewed with no loss of quality. The power and fibre optic cables can be buried in a trench or run overground protected in plastic water pipe. The system can also be deployed in multi-apartment complexes and offshore installations.
SurveyMonkeySBBS thanks the customers who responded to our SurveyMonkey survey a few weeks ago. We were thrilled to read that you think so highly of us. We will not sit back on our laurels though, your comments will help to shape the future of our business as we go forward. The technologies are changing all the time and we will continue our efforts to bring up to date solutions and top of class customer services to our clients. Here are some of the testimonials we received:
- "Simply Balanced is extremely helpful and knowledgeable. They have excellent customer service and we have been very happy with their products"
- "A high level of pleasant, knowledgeable & prompt personal service. Highly recommended"
- "Very good and professional service undertaken on a wet, windy December day"
- "A broadband service I couldn't do without. Simply Outstanding"
- "The customer service has been brilliant. If I haven't managed to get hold of someone straight away I've left a message and they've got back to me with in the hour. I would recommend them to anyone. It's really important to have someone to speak to at the other end of the phone to give you advice and suggestions that isn't necessarily part of their usual service!"
June 2013A hydro electricity vendor required the ability to remotely access performance data from a hydro generating system installed at a customer's premises in the Scottish Borders.
SBBS migrated our customer's Tooway satellite internet system to a new service package incorporating a static IP address, 18Mbps download speed and 6Mbps upload speed. The customer's router was reconfigured to allow the vendor access to operational data from the hydro electric system.
The ability to monitor hydro and wind turbine systems remotely is essential for the safe and efficient operation of these systems. In areas where communications by conventional means is difficult or impossible a satellite broadband internet system from SBBS is an ideal method for accessing this data.
SBBS has over 25 years experience in providing communications in difficult circumstances.
Simply Balanced has successfully completed an installation in one of the remotest locations we have yet visited in Scotland. In the course of a three day trip SBBS installed an Avanti satellite broadband internet terminal at a lodge on an island on the west coast of Scotland.
Mountains rising to nearly 800 metres to the south of the site gave rise to concerns that the satellites may not be visible; earlier attempts by another company to establish a satellite internet terminal at the lodge had proved unsuccessful. SBBS carried out out a detailed path profile exercise to ensure that clear lines of sight were available.
With no vehicular access to the lodge all tools and equipment had to be transported to the site over land and water by the estate staff in an exercise involving 4x4 vehicles and two boat passages.
Given the remote location for the installation SBBS carried out a simulated installation of the equipment at our base prior to departure to ensure nothing was overlooked, setting aside the tools and equipment as the simulation progressed. We then added additional items to insure against breakages or losses and packed everything for transportation by boat.
An existing Avanti based system at another lodge on the island was given a health check and advice concerning monthly service packages was provided to the client.
SBBS configured the router with coded tickets for Paypal or credit/debit card payments for several internet access options and set up the "splash" page that clients see on accessing the hot spot. On accessing the internet customers are directed to a landing page where they can purchase online time using PayPal "Buy Now" buttons. Customers with an existing Paypal account can be online in seconds without entering their card details. Customers who do not have a PayPal account can enter their credit or debit card details.
We have also been approached to provide technical advice to a rural group seeking to improve their broadband capabilities. The group will look at all aspects of provision including where and how to tie in to the internet and how to distribute the connections to businesses and dwellings in the surrounding area.