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Airband Signs Light Source to Help UK FTTP Broadband Rollout

Thursday, January 28th, 2021 (8:00 am) - Score 2,136
airband fttp build telegraph pole

Worcestershire-based rural broadband ISP Airband, which aspires to deploy their ultrafast Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network to cover 500,000 premises by the end of 2025 (here), has signed a new long-term partnership with civil engineering firm Light Source to help support the build. Starting in Shropshire.

Light Source and Airband added that they would “begin work immediately“, with the former undertaking a design and build solution in the Shropshire and Marches regions starting January 2021. Readers may recall that the ISP holds a £11.2m contract with Connecting Shropshire, which has already expanded their network to cover thousands of premises (a big chunk of that includes FTTP).

The news follows a day after Airband revealed that they’d also be expanding their team during 2021, not least by creating over 1,000 new job opportunities, with training, in Worcestershire, the South West and beyond.

Steven Hill, The Light Source MD, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to announce our partnership with Airband. From the moment we met their Senior Management Team, it was obvious that we shared the same culture, and I can see this being a very successful partnership for both parties.”

Nigel Sudell, Operations Director at Airband, adds:

“We are continuing to expand our services to more homes and businesses across the UK that are in sore need of better broadband. To do this, we partner with high quality fibre construction firms that cover all aspects of survey, design, build and assurance. Light Source does exactly this, and we’re looking forward to working together to deliver essential connectivity to even more customers over the coming years.”

In November 2020, Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) acquired a majority stake in Airband, with the founders and Amber Infrastructure retaining minority stakes in the company. ASI will fund the growth in Airband’s team and operations to help it deliver its new FTTP services.

Airband have been working to deliver rural Broadband across Devon, Wales and parts of West England for over 10 years, albeit initially by focusing on Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) solutions instead of FTTP. The latter is a fairly recent development.

Leave a Comment
8 Responses
  1. Avatar Peter S says:

    It is good to see a broadband builder keen to rollout FTTP services in rural areas. However, as Airband continue to scoop up Local Authority contracts, (that Openreach do not seem particularly interested in), it would be good to see them sign a few wholesale agreements with the larger ISP’s, so that the rural consumers (of their publicly subsidised networks) are given a bit of choice. Their £38 p/m for a 40mbps service does not seem particularly competitive or affordable for the average rural household.

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      In order to do that you’d need both sides to agree a position on the wholesale product and these things are traditionally very complex, as well painfully slow to develop. Plus Airband doesn’t currently have a big enough FTTP network to make it an attractive and cost effective platform for major ISPs. Scale is important.

    2. Avatar Peter S says:

      Yes, I accept that scale is important. Hopefully, their plan to cover 500,000 premises over the next few years will provide that scale.

  2. Avatar FTTP4WALES says:

    The main thing I take away from the Airband and Light source collaboration is that they will be able to continue with the rollout of FTTP solutions in rural parts of our country..
    Hopefully this move will help them realise the 500k homes passed point. This has got to be applauded. We need much more Full Fibre in South West Wales..

    1. Avatar GNewton says:

      “We need much more Full Fibre in South West Wales..”

      Not just there, but this whole country needs it!

      This country is more than a decade behind of where it should be with regards to a widespread fibre broadband availability!

  3. Avatar anon676767 says:

    Worcestershire based, but wouldn’t dream of build a FTTP network here 😛

    Wealthy areas only (mostly towns) it seems!

    1. Avatar Kat says:

      They are coming to Warndon soon!

  4. Avatar Rhianydd Jones-Foster says:

    GFT you’ll smash this!

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