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COVID-19 – Wireless UK ISP Airband Upgrade Old Networks to Unlimited UPDATE

Monday, March 23rd, 2020 (1:28 pm) - Score 809

At present only those who subscribe to Airband’s most recently built Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) broadband networks can benefit from their unlimited usage packages. But now those on some of their smaller and older rural infrastructure projects may also be able to benefit, thanks to a new pilot project.

Existing customers in the small rural Gloucestershire (England) village of Kempley, which had Airband’s wireless broadband installed 5 years ago, have been the first to see their old capped allowances being upgraded to “unlimited” following an improvement to the local network.

The upgrade has also made faster broadband speeds of 40Mbps possible, which is double the best they could previously receive. Existing customers will receive this upgrade free, albeit only for the first 3 months of service (after that they can choose to pay for the new package or not).

Meanwhile Airband are also continuing to work on the Kempley Combined Solution – a fibre network for an area of the community not currently served with superfast broadband by any ISP. The planned network will be built in conjunction with Fastershire – an ongoing broadband partnership between the Gloucestershire and Herefordshire councils.

Philippa Blackburn, Airband’s Special Projects Manager, said:

“All our customers in Kempley have been upgraded to 40Mbps unlimited packages free of charge for three months, in response to the coronavirus crisis.

The majority of our customers already have unlimited packages but a few of our historical wireless networks, such as Kempley, are on 20Mbps packages and we are currently working with our network engineering team to see if it is possible to upgrade any community where our customers express a need.”

The ISP is currently being supported by an investment of £16m via the National Digital Infrastructure Fund (here), as well as another £25m if you include all of their state aid / BDUK contracts. Airband hopes to bring superfast broadband to a further 50,000 premises across the whole of England and Wales by 2021.

UPDATE 30th March 2020

As expected, Airband has now released data caps on all home broadband plans for three months in response to the coronavirus.

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