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ITS Saves Digital Teesdale’s Local Wireless Broadband Network

Monday, October 13th, 2014 (4:19 pm) - Score 625

The ITS Technology Group has promised to continue support for the long-running Digital Teesdale service, which supplies wireless broadband Internet access to premises in rural parts of the Teesdale valley that resides on the east side of the Pennines in England.

The related Digital Dale project, which stemmed from a 2010 partnership of local businesses, residents and government agencies, originally selected Networks by Wireless to build an up to 8Mbps (the first plan called for 20Mbps but this was never achieved) capable WiMAX based wireless broadband network for Teesdale (here). At the time it was suggested that the service could potentially help around 13,000 premises.

Customers typically paid from £20 per month for a bog standard 2Mbps connection (0.25Mbps uploads) and if you wanted the top 8Mbps package then that would set you back £51.99, not forgetting another one-off payment of £50 in order to cover the receiver installation. Back then it was a big improvement, although by modern standards it’s somewhat poor, unless of course you still live in an area with sub-2Mbps fixed line connectivity.

Unfortunately NbyW recently went into administration and this created a lot of concern for the local community, although the good news is that new owners ITS have pledged to continue its support.

Roy Shelton, CEO of ITS Technology Group, told ISPreview.co.uk:

While there has been an unfortunate period of uncertainty and hearsay as to the future of this infrastructure, ITS and Comtek are completely committed to not only sustaining the rural broadband service across this Dale, but also to continually improving and building on it.

Our technical engineers have worked to repair the network ensuring a better service for its end-users. Delivering broadband to hard to reach areas is ITS Technology Group’s forte, as we are also building Fibre GarDen, a community broadband initiative in Cumbria, so we understand the technical challenges that such a network presents.”

Apparently the deal means that ITS owns, supports and maintains the network, while Comtek delivers the broadband services and technical support to end-users, which are branded under the communityisp.co.uk website. At present the old and quite expensive services still exist, although by the sounds of it the ITS Group appear keen to upgrade and so we can hopefully anticipate faster products coming online in the future.

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