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Airband Launch Wholesale Broadband Network in Dartmoor and Exmoor

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016 (1:35 pm) - Score 978
wireless radio spectrum mast

Fixed wireless ISP Airband, which last year won a £4.6m contract to deploy superfast broadband to 5,800 premises across the Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks in England (here), has today officially launched its new wholesale platform that gives rival ISPs access to use their network.

Earlier this year Airband submitted planning applications for masses of new wireless “transmitter” stations in the region (here). So far most of the planning permission on Dartmoor has been secured (none have been rejected) and planning applications have also been submitted for Exmoor, where 7 out of the 29 submitted have been approved and the rest are awaiting a final verdict.

Final testing of the network has now begun in South Dartmoor and this is expected to conclude in the coming weeks. Apparently much of Airband’s new infrastructure is being mounted on existing buildings or masts, which should minimise the environmental impact (although there are some taller masts of up to 25 – 50 metres involved). Overall the network will cover an area of roughly 1,646km squared.

The build phase for Exmoor is currently expected to begin around mid-July 2016 and the goal is to cover 100% of both areas by the end of this year.

Dan Jones, Project Manager at Airband, said:

“The ‘Go-live’ of Airband’s core network marks a step-change for businesses, local authorities and homes alike, throughout Exmoor and Dartmoor. We have over 10 years’ experience with Fixed Wireless Broadband, and whilst we have dealt with ISPs before, it has primarily been on a referral scheme basis. This wholesale platform marks the first time that Airband have ventured fully into the wholesale market and we’re really excited for the launch of it.”

Councillor David Hall, Somerset Council, said:

“It’s great to see our scheme in the National Parks gathering momentum, with moorland locations soon to go live in the coming weeks. It’s the biggest wireless broadband project in England and it will transform businesses and the lives of thousands of people on the moors. It’s a demonstration of the kinds of innovative technology and community involvement we want to see more of in Devon and Somerset.”

Apparently Airband’s platform allows ISPs to register their interest, make an enquiry about reselling superfast broadband and find out more about access to sharing their physical infrastructure. The platform also offers a postcode search that will display all ISPs operating in a postcode area (providers can register and find out more at wholesale.airband.co).

However it remains to be seen if any providers will actually take up the offer, although if they don’t then Airband still has their own packages to sell. The ISP’s prices start at £10 per month (plus £150 installation) for an entry-level 10Mbps (1GB allowance) service and rise to £35 for a 20Mbps package (100GB allowance), but some of their other networks offer different options and so the above may not be indicative of Dartmoor and Exmoor.

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
6 Responses
  1. Avatar 3G Infinity

    Anyone know what technology they are using for the wireless network, I assume its a combination of 5.8GHz backhaul with either 5.4 or 5.8GHz to the premise as I am not ware they have access to any licensed spectrum?

  2. Avatar The Dude

    Does the Airband wifi tech need direct line of sight in order to work?

    • Avatar Craski

      Probably. As I understand it, the long range wifi kit that doesnt need line of sight relies on signals bouncing off buildings etc so it doesnt work particularly well in sparsely populated rural environments.

  3. Avatar John Butler

    Ilive in a valley on Dartmoorpostcode TQ11 OJD can I recieve Airband ? I have put my postcode in your information box but it didnt help.

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