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UK ISP Voneus Brings Superfast Broadband to Somerset Villages

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020 (11:14 am) - Score 1,006

After a four year campaign for better internet connectivity two villages in rural Somerset (England) – Wanstrow and Batcombe – will soon be able to receive a 30-50Mbps capable “superfast broadband” speed, which is all thanks to a new Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) network from UK ISP Voneus.

At present both communities, which are each home to a population of around 400-500 people (c.200 premises), can only access a bog standard slow copper line ADSL broadband solution via Openreach’s (BT) national infrastructure. Interestingly the nearby Upton Noble (this sits between the two villages) can access both FTTC and FTTP from Openreach, but sadly this was never extended.

The good news is that Voneus has just made their new FWA network available to homes and businesses in Wanstrow, while Batcombe is expected to go live at the end of June. Residents signing up for the service will get their installation and broadband router for free, while NHS workers and those signing-up for a 2 year contract will also receive the first 3 months of their service completely free-of-charge.

Apparently this new wireless network is being fed data capacity via an existing fibre network in the nearby village of Trudoxhill. From there, a wireless signal is beamed across the countryside to discreet antennas on 7 different host sites in the area (e.g. rural farm buildings), which, in turn, transmit broadband directly to small and unobtrusive receivers on the villagers’ homes.

Steve Leighton, CEO at Voneus, said:

“It is extremely gratifying to see that Wanstrow and Batcombe will finally be able to access the broadband speeds they deserve. And with another tailor-made solution, we have demonstrated that our business model and creative solutions-led approach really work for hard-to-reach communities.”

Bob Sargent, Parish Councillor and Wanstrow Broadband Champion, said:

“After four years of constant disappointments we are all ecstatic that we can now do the things that the rest of the country has long taken for granted – such as watch BBC iPlayer or chat with our families on Zoom.

There are also many small businesses in our communities that have been really struggling with poor broadband speeds, but that have now been able to develop their customer base and compete effectively. Voneus has been professional and open with us the whole way through the process of designing and building our network, and has delivered on everything they promised from the start.”

Customers typically pay from £34.99 per month (24 month term) to access their unlimited service, which includes a wireless router and installation. A 12 month option is also available but it’ll set you back an additional £4 per month. Voneus is also providing the village halls in both Wanstrow and Batcombe with a free connection, creating a central hub in each village to help keep everyone in the communities connected.

Last year the ISP secured a huge new investment of £30m to help their fixed wireless and future “full fibre” network target 900,000 UK premises (here). As such we can probably expect to see a lot more developments like this in the near future.

Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. Avatar Buggerlugz

    30-50Mbps capable “superfast broadband”

    Still have issues with 30-50Mbps being accepted as being “superfast”

    Because in the modern UK it simply isn’t.

  2. Avatar AnotherTim

    It is pretty fast compared to what was previously available, and it isn’t as if there is any other service likely to be available anytime soon that is faster.

  3. Avatar GNewton

    The very fact that users have to organise a campaign to get a proper telecom service like superfast broadband shows how hopelessly backwards this country truly is. Telecom companies should just do their jobs, like other utility companies like electricity or water do.

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