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ISP Airband Connects 1000th Customer in Dartmoor and Exmoor

Wednesday, December 18th, 2019 (11:28 am) - Score 764

Fixed wireless and fibre ISP Airband, which holds several multi-million pound state aid fuelled contracts to deploy “superfast broadband” (30Mbps+) networks across remote UK rural areas, has announced that they’ve just connected their 1000th customer in the Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks.

As a quick recap, the £4.6 million contract to cover 5,800 premises in the Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks with a superfast Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) network was awarded to the ISP by the Connecting Devon and Somerset project in 2015 (here). The network was completed last year and since then they’ve been busy attracting customers.

NOTE: Airband’s final network in the national parks actually ended up covering a little over 6,000 premises.

Claire and Ed Hitch, who farm Devon Red Ruby pedigree beef cattle at their farm in Exmoor National Park, near Whatchet, have today been named as Airband’s 1000th customer on the moors. They have been gifted 6 months of free internet service in honour of this milestone.

Martin Hewlett, Airband Project Manager, said:

“Bringing better connectivity to this beautiful and remote area has been both exhilarating and challenging,” he said. “It has only been possible thanks to the commitment and dedication of our planning and project teams and our engineers on the ground. And crucially we were helped by support from CDS and both national park authorities – who had the vision to help us make this network a reality.”

One of the greatest challenges of the project was balancing the need to deliver broadband access with the need to protect the environment of the National Parks. … Working on this project has [also] helped us pioneer innovations in rural broadband, both in terms of how we build the network and in smaller details such as including bespoke bracketry and camouflaging radios to blend in with the background.”

Over the course of the 3 year build of the network, Airband’s community engagement has also included the free connection of village halls and churches. A number of their sites were too remote for a standard electricity supply and in those locations they were able to harness photovoltaic (solar) panels and onshore wind turbines (other wireless ISPs have done the same).

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1 Response
  1. Avatar Guy Cashmore

    Or put it another way, it has taken them 5 years to reach 17% take up? Am I being unfair?

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