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Norfolk UK Wireless Broadband ISP WiSpire Sold to InTouch Systems

Saturday, March 17th, 2018 (7:10 am) - Score 1,260
wispire_2016

The rate of consolidation among UK fixed wireless broadband ISPs has picked up pace again after InTouch Systems, which operates a network across Norfolk and Suffolk via ITSwisp, announced that it had acquired wireless provider WiSpire that operates in the same region.

WiSpire has tended to offer faster broadband packages than ITSwisp and they’re also better known, not least after becoming a more established name through being one of the first ISPs to pioneer the approach of deploying wireless infrastructure on top of churches in order to serve rural communities. Earlier this year the Government moved to foster this sort of approach across the UK (here).

Meanwhile the South Norfolk Council has recently signed a new deal with InTouch Systems (here), which aims to deploy a new 10Mbps+ capable wireless network across parts of the area that won’t benefit from the existing Better Broadband for Norfolk (BBfN) project with BT (Openreach). Suffice to say that acquiring WiSpire will help in delivering on their contract commitment.

Steve Temple, Director of InTouch Systems, said (EDP24):

“Churches are perfectly situated to benefit people in rural communities, like in South Norfolk. The Diocese of Norwich has been very supportive of expanding the network and over the next 12 to 24 months we will be adding another 11 churches. Broadband drives everything these days. If you build a business park you need good connections or no one will come.”

Richard Butler, CEO for the Diocese of Norwich, said:

“We are keen to see that growth accelerate and more church towers be used to deliver such a vital service to the communities we serve, and InTouch Systems have significant expertise in rural broadband provision.”

Hopefully InTouch will also find a way to upgrade their service in order to offer faster speeds than are currently available because these days 10Mbps+ is a fairly low bar to be setting. The top ITSwisp package for residential users currently costs £31.99 for an unlimited 8Mbps download service (1Mbps upload) and free installation, which is better than sub-2Mbps for some communities but still feels a bit like going back in time over a decade to when ADSLMax was still a big thing.

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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
2 Responses
  1. Avatar Norfreak Ant

    Your comment about Wispire being better known is related to it being part owned by Archant the East Anglian media giant who owns almost all of the media in the area. It will be interesting to see what happens the last paragraph is very very accurate.

  2. Avatar John Goose

    I would be very happy if WiSpire could actually deliver a reliable 10Mbps. We have been customers of WiSpire for over a year and it has never worked satisfactorily. We can easily see the church at Honing that provides our connection and yet we typically only get between 1 and 6Mbps and that is when it works at all! During a typical day the signal is lost completely between 10 and 20 times. We have repeatedly brought these issues to the attention of the MD of WiSpire and have been repeatedly promised improvements that never materialise. If InTouch Systems have bought WiSpire for their technology I very much doubt this will be a successful acquisition!

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