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Aramiska crash 'completely unexpected'

Staff 'stunned'

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Staff at stricken satellite broadband outfit Aramiska knew nothing of the firm's shock decision to pull the plug on its service last Friday.

A week after Aramiska dumped its customers, a number of former workers have told El Reg they were unaware of the firm's decision to axe the service - giving customers just a few hours notice.

One former worker explained how last Friday was just another ordinary day at the office - until a meeting was called mid-morning. It was then management broke the news to staff that Aramiska was ceasing to provide its broadband satellite service. Others were told to pack up and go home.

Staff at Aramiska's office in Belgium were "stunned", one insider told us, while another said it was "completely unexpected".

"We were unaware that Aramiska was shutting down of the services until Friday, the day it shut down the services," said one source.

Staff were told they would be given more information this week, but so far they've heard nothing. While it's still not known how many end users have been left without broadband following Aramiska's crash, it's becoming clear that a number of sectors relied on the service. Outlying government departments, embassies, military stations, as well as oil rigs are all understood to have subscribed to Aramiska's service either as a principal broadband connection or as back-up.

In the UK, the Community Broadband Network (CBN) has been helping those hit by the company's demise and has been flooded with enquiries about what to do next.

A CBN spokeswoman told us: "We have been incredibly busy dealing with calls and emails from across Europe as communities and rural businesses try to find alternatives. The CBN website is full of information for those people.

"The worst part is that in this day and age so many are reliant on satellite for broadband comms, while other countries have fibre, and it is of vital importance that the government address the impact that rural disconnectivity is having on businesses and communities in the UK." ®

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