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ISP to Expand Faster Wireless Broadband in Rural Northamptonshire UK

Saturday, Dec 7th, 2013 (8:08 am) - Score 2,425
rural-countryside-uk

Northamptonshire ISP VillageBroadband, which typically serves residents and businesses in the rural hamlet of Strixton and its neighbouring villages (Wollaston and Denton), has said that it expects to expand their coverage and double in size, all with no help from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) scheme.

The service originally began life some years back as a local business initiative, which distributed out the connectivity from a lowly 2Mbps Leased Line (followed later by an ADSL2+ link) to local firms. This was eventually expanded to homes by using a fixed wireless network. But it continued to grow and in September 2012 business ISP Fluidata helped to build a new 100Mbps capable fibre optic line.

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As it stands today some 3,500 residents and businesses are now able to receive a broadband download speed of between 10Mbps to 15Mbps (Megabits per second) via the providers 5GHz based Fixed Wireless Access network, which remains fuelled by Fluidata’s fibre link.

Dr Mike Goldsmith, VillageBroadband, said (ComputerWeekly):

We now have a lot of loyal clients and many more wanting to join up. We view this as a community service and are proud of what we have achieved so far.

When it came to the BDUK roll-out, there wasn’t a level playing field and I resented the way no-one could compete with BT. Our hands were tied by the rules but we will continue to talk with our local authorities about any future involvement.”

The BDUK scheme has repeatedly been criticised for setting strict eligibility criteria that shunned wireless networks in favour of fixed lines. The £20m Rural Community Broadband Fund (RCBF) was setup to act as a semi-replacement for altnets but that too appears to have largely flopped, unless your name is BT (here).

Now we have a new £10m Competitive Fund (contrary to some reports no money from the RCBF is being used for this) but it’s only a drop in the ocean, the details remain sparse and after recent disappointments nobody is expecting any grand changes in course from the Government.

Never the less VillageBroadband still intends to “carry on growing” and after having just started to turn a profit they now expect to “double our size over the next few years without more investment“. At the time of writing their website appeared to be undergoing a revamp.

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Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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