Specialist IT firm Avanti has teamed up with the West Midlands Networking Company in a deal - worth around £1.2 million - which will help provide rural communities in the region with broadband data services to businesses and homes.
The agreement will see Avanti, which also provides screenmedia services to retailers, install satellite and wireless base stations as part of the Rural Broadband Access Project.
The initiative is being put together by the West Midlands Networking Company on behalf of regional development agency Advantage West Midlands.
The contract will run for five years and Avanti will receive £358,000 for the installation of the network, with an additional variable amount collected from individual subscribers, depending on take-up and usage, estimated to be worth in the region of £155,000 per year.
David Williams, Avanti's chief executive, said: "We are delighted to work with WMNC to address the needs of broad-band users who are un-served by other technologies.
"Many businesses and residences in the UK face such problems and this creates an obvious market in the UK for the Avanti product."
He added: "In addition to upgrading all of our screen-media sites, which offer customers the triple play of television, broadband data and voice, we are finding there is strong demand from customers needing simple broadband in the UK and Europe and are excited about the prospects for this part of our business."
Avanti's first commercial success involved screenmedia, where it installs and runs television channels for retailers, pubs and shopping malls at or close to the point of sale.
Retailers use these channels to entertain and inform customers, build brand, promote products and generate new sources of advertising revenues.
Broadband services are its second source of revenue.
Avanti operates a highly advanced bi-directional satellite system which it combines with 802.11b and 802.11g wireless services to provide zones of broadband coverage for fixed and roaming applications.
Avanti claims the technology is cost competitive and reliable at low marginal cost.
It has been developed in collaboration with the European Space Agency and the British National Space Centre, part of the DTI, over the last five years.
In August last year Avanti won the right to use the orbital position at 33.5 degrees west to operate a satellite.
The financing for the build element of this project has been raised and the construction of Avanti's first satellite has started, due for launch in 2008.
AIM-listed Avanti will use this satellite to provide broadband and televisions services in Europe.