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Wireless ISP AirBand to Deploy Superfast Broadband in Dartmoor and Exmoor

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 (4:57 pm) - Score 1,782

The Connecting Devon and Somerset project in England has announced that a fixed wireless access (FWA) provider called Airband has won their open tender contract for deploying superfast broadband to 5,800 homes and businesses across the Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks.

The new deal, which is separate from last week’s disaster with the local BT and Superfast Extension Programme contract (here), has the advantage of not needing to dig up lots of roads in order to lay new cables and this also makes it both cheaper and quicker to deploy.

The service itself will be transmitted to homes from various masts dotted around the area and it’s understood that the roll-out will be funded by a public sector investment of £4.6 million. According to the press release, Airband’s solution is also designed to “overcome physical conditions such as trees, hills or structures“, which is probably just a general reference to the positioning of their masts and choice of radio frequency bands rather than some magical fix.

Andrew Leadbetter, Devon Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth, said:

We are delighted that Airband has been chosen to roll out superfast broadband across the Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks. They were selected for their innovative approach to delivering broadband in remote areas.

This contract announcement represents the next big step towards our aim of achieving 100% coverage across the region. By the end of 2016, many more homes and businesses across Dartmoor and Exmoor will be able to access superfast broadband speeds of 24Mbps or more. People will be able to benefit from this innovative technology and faster internet connection speeds, enhancing their lives and productivity respectively.”

Sadly the press release doesn’t mention exactly what kind of service customers can expect to receive (100Mbps gets mentioned but the context is unclear), although “superfast” usually references Internet download speeds of 24Mbps+ or 30Mbps+. As such it’s likely that Airband may offer a different service to locals than the one on their website, which currently tops out at ‘up to’ 20Mbps. Prices start from £10 per month for an entry-level 10Mbps option with a 1GB allowance.

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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