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New Deal Brings 100Mbps Wireless Link to Businesses in Shepway

Monday, April 14th, 2014 (7:51 am) - Score 822
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A new 3-year deal has been signed between Shepway District Council in Kent (England) and Maidstone-based Custodian Data Centre that will make Internet data speeds of up to 100Mbps (Megabits per second) available to businesses in the district’s main employment sites.

Little is known about the precise solution being used, although the official update suggests that the service will “initially” transmit its connectivity from a “large aerial” to be installed on the civic centre roof in Folkestone. This suggests some sort of point-to-point style wireless connectivity.

The council appears to be contributing most of the money to help build and manage the new service, although they also state that the costs should “eventually” be met by income from supporting businesses. Apparently “premium connections” will also be available at a “significantly reduced rate compared with those currently offered,” although no baseline for comparison is offered.

Alan Clifton-Holt, Cabinet Member for the District Economy, said:

The contract we have signed with Custodian shows the strength of Shepway Council’s commitment to generating new business for the district. Businesses at our main employment sites have told us that this will give them a competitive edge, enabling them to secure more business, recruit more people and work more cost-effectively.

It is vital for firms to be competitive and we want to make that happen. This investment supports our ambition of being ‘Kent’s Connected Coast’: for culture, for business and for growth opportunities.”

It’s noted that Call Flow Solutions, which has already helped to deploy superfast broadband into several local rural areas (Dungeness, Lydd, Lympne, and Stanford) via investment from Kent County Council’s community broadband fund, will also be “the internet service provider for this project“. Indeed CFS’s website does reference a radio private circuit solution for speeds of 2Mbps – 100Mbps.

The project will complement Kent and Medway’s wider £39.47 million contract with BT to ensure that 91% of local premises can gain access to superfast broadband ISP speeds of 25Mbps+ by the end of 2015. Kent is also home to a variety of alternative network providers, such as VFast and Quickline. But some local altnet schemes haven’t always worked, such as the apparent flop of an ultrafast FTTH network in the village of Selling (here).

In particular Orbital Net have noted to ISPreview.co.uk that they already offer 100Mbps wireless connections in Folkestone, and have done for the past 5 years, without council investment.

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