BigBlu no longer offering Astra Connect from November 15th

Big Blu currently offer two rival satellite broadband systems in France, Tooway and Astra Connect. They have decided to concentrate their efforts on to Tooway and they have been contacting Astra Connect customers for the last 6 months … many customers have already migrated to the new service.

Unlike Astra Connect, the new generation Tooway has unlimited packages so there is no more need to buy Volume Boosters nor Data Resets when you reach the monthly limit … the service does not come to a halt. There are three packages which are suitable for light users, medium users and heavy users … details of those packages are already on this site here:

In many cases, the new Tooway packages will save you some money on what you’re paying now for your Astra Connect service.
The exception is for very low users on the 3GB package which is currently costing you 10,95 euros per month … the nearest Tooway tariff to this is Bronze at 29,99 euros so Bigblu will cut their Tooway Bronze tariff to 14,99 euros for the first 12 months. Bronze will give you a lot more data to play with.

Regretably, there is no Tooway equivalent to the Pay-As-You-Go service currently provided by Astra Connect.

The BigBlu offer:

Firstly, Tooway uses a different satellite and different technology, you will need to change your satellite hardware … that includes dish and modem. As the equipment is rented, the kit is sent to you free of charge. It will be sent via DHL or you can collect the new equipment from here if you’re close enough. In most cases, the old dish is removed from the existing wall bracket and replaced by the new Tooway dish. The Tooway dish has to point 19 degrees more to the south. Again, in most cases, you should be able to use one of the existing two satellite cables that your system uses now (Tooway only uses one satellite cable). Inside, the old modem is replaced by a Tooway modem … on Silver and Gold packages, that will be a combined modem-router so it will also replace your current wifi router.

The normal activation/connection fee is waived for those of you who migrate to the new service.
Also, the first three months of your chosen tariff’s airtime will be offered free of charge. In practice, this means that you pay for the first month’s airtime but months two, three and four will be free.

This is a rental system, so the rental element of the tariff (2,50 for Bronze; 5,00 for Silver and Gold) is still paid for months 2,3 and 4. In France, this is a one month rolling contract and the modem and tria (bit on the dish) has to be returned if you ever cancel the contract.

Installation:
Bigblu are offering a free installation but a word of warning about that …
There are customers in parts of France where I can’t offer installations, so Bigblu will hand you over to the French installers at Bigblu France … you will have to liaise directly with them for the initial installation and also for any installation problems.

I have five trusted colleagues and many of you will already know John Hetherington, Gary Goodwin, Gordon Ellis, Bob Freeman and Stuart Wallace … I would much prefer to have one of these gentlemen install your new system but Bigblu don’t pay me enough to offer a free installation. In most cases, we try and arrange these migrations so the customer doesn’t pay any more than 50 euros, the rest of the installer’s fee is paid out of the commission fee that I receive from Bigblu.

All I would say is that we’ve done hundreds of these Tooway installs between us so you’ll get somebody who knows what he’s doing.

Of course, a lot of you installed your own equipment in the first place so you should have no problem with the new system. I think Tooway is easier especially as there is a Tooway pointing app for your phone (have a look on the Equipment page).

To start the ball rolling:
Contact me … email or phone so I can get a quote for an installation if you want one. Once you’re happy with that, I’ll need to take a payment from you for the first month of the new tariff and that will get the equipment on the way to you. You’ll get a new account from Bigblu … unlike many of you on Astra Connect, you will be able to see your current usage in real time.

Clarification:
The Astra Connect service itself is not closing and it will still be offered by other service providers, like NordNet for example. If there’s a good technical reason why you can’t change to Tooway, then you should be able to take out a contract with another provider.