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Rural ISP Airband Brings Gigabit Broadband to Oxfordshire UK

Thursday, March 11th, 2021 (9:58 am) - Score 1,344
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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 announced that they’ve just gone live in the Oxfordshire town of Thame, which is home to around 12,000 people, and more will follow.

The Worcestershire-based provider, which is now owned by Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI), is currently deploying “ultrafast fibre broadband” to 17 rural clusters over 450km across Oxfordshire, as part of the broadband for Businesses in Rural Oxfordshire (BiRO) project funded by DEFRA (here). The provider will ultimately enable over 12,000 premises to connect.

The fibre rollout in Oxfordshire includes Uffington, Kingstone, Watlington and many more locations across the region. All areas are expected to be live this year.

Andy Brain, Project lead at Airband, said:

“Bringing ultrafast broadband to Thame represents everything that Airband is about – we are transforming connectivity for people and communities who deserve better. It’s so rewarding to be able to provide such a vast improvement in broadband speeds and the reaction and appreciation from communities here has been incredible.

Deployment of the remaining clusters in this part of the contract with Oxfordshire County Council is progressing very well, thousands more rural homes and businesses in the region will very soon be able to access ultrafast broadband. And when we build our ultrafast networks, we use existing infrastructure wherever possible. For example, existing poles and underground ducts, which means we can set up an ultrafast fibre network very rapidly.

Once we start building a network in an area, the process from ordering to installation should take just a few weeks.”

Councillor Ian Corkin, Oxfordshire County Council, said:

“I’m delighted that Thame residents are now benefiting from Airband’s ultrafast fibre network. This is world class digital infrastructure coming to one of our vibrant market towns, providing residents and businesses alike with access to ultrafast broadband.

We’ve already seen the importance of superfast connectivity in our response to COVID-19 and this next generation of technology will build on that, revolutionising how we live, work and play, as well as helping us meet our sustainability goals. I’m very much looking forward to many similar announcements in the future. Part of our connectivity commitment to Oxfordshire’s residents.”

In fairness local connectivity in Thame isn’t terrible, although Airband notes that “most homes and businesses” in the town have a connection speed of less than 50Mbps. But obviously the arrival of gigabit-capable fibre will be most welcome.

At present, residential packages on Airband’s network currently only offer up to 250Mbps (75Mbps upload) for £47 per month with unlimited usage on a 12-month minimum contract term (there’s also a £99 installation fee).

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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.
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