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Wildanet Open New Academy to Train UK Fibre Broadband Engineers

Monday, Sep 18th, 2023 (12:46 pm) - Score 1,032

Rural broadband ISP Wildanet, which is busy deploying a new gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network across parts of South West England, has just opened a new “centre of excellence” in Cornwall to help train up the next generation of telecommunication engineers.

The Wildanet Technical Training Academy is naturally intended to support the operator’s own full fibre deployments across parts of Cornwall and Devon, which expects to add more than 50,000 rural ready for service (RFS) premises to their full fibre network by the end of 2023. This is in addition to the c. 60,000 reportedly covered by their fixed wireless network.

NOTE: The ISP is supported by an investment of £100m from Gresham House.

The Academy, based at Wildanet’s Westbourne House HQ in Liskeard, includes a ‘pole field‘ – said to be the “only facility of its kind in the South West” – where engineers can be safely trained in scaling and operating on utility (or telegraph) poles up 9m (30ft) tall.


The site also features a full suite of other equipment to train engineers in the theoretical and practical aspects of dealing with fibre installation, including network infrastructure and domestic installation; safely working with underground services and at height; and using microscope-based specialist equipment to splice and test individual strands of fibre optic cable.

Helen Wylde, Wildanet CEO, said:

“When we launched Wildanet, we made a pledge to not only bridge the digital divide, but to also offer rewarding career opportunities for the communities that we serve and create a lasting legacy for future generations.

The Academy is at the heart of this pledge and its official opening is a milestone moment, not only for Wildanet but for Cornwall and the South West. I want to acknowledge and praise the hard work and dedication of all those within the Wildanet team and our partners who have helped make it a reality.”

A small group of five apprentices are currently the first to embark on the new Telecoms Field Operative Apprenticeship programme developed by Wildanet in partnership with Truro and Penwith College. A further five apprentices are set to join next month.

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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8 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Ivor says:

    cool so are they finally building the taxpayer subsidised network that Openreach will likely overbuild (or get there beforehand) anyway

    My parents’ location is still listed on their website as “available” and yet they still offer nothing when you actually put a postcode in. It’s not a big place, most of it is covered by Openreach FTTP anyway, and any roadworks would be noticed

    1. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      They have a commercial deployment, while their only state aid supported Project Gigabit contract is focused on areas where rival commercial builds are not tackling.

    2. Avatar photo Ivor says:

      indeed – though my parents are supposedly in the subsidised area and their location popped up on the Wildanet website when the subsidy was announced, so presumably they think they’re going to be wiring it up.

      The place is almost entirely Openreach FTTP and VDSL already, with FTTP making up the bulk. Openreach have already done the hard to reach areas. My parents’ place is on a dense road where I simply cannot imagine Openreach would ignore it (the hard to reach places on the same VDSL cabinet have already been FTTP’d)

      tl;dr I can’t work out where Wildanet think they’re going to be

  2. Avatar photo Fromie says:

    There’s a training pole field for altnets just outside Farrington Gurney, nr Bath . Its massive. Drive past it a lot and have seen lots of training going on.

  3. Avatar photo Ben Wright says:

    Wow I’ve seen a much bigger and better training site in Hallatrow which I believe is in the southwest.
    They have at least 25 poles and the company is called Future Networks Training (FNT).
    From there website looks like they offer all sorts of training.

  4. Avatar photo Rich says:

    What a complete waste of money and time and a cost to the environment. A national massively over built fibre network in years to come where these small alt nets will eventually go bust only for the tax payer to pick up the bill. A total government and ofcom failure.

  5. Avatar photo Liam Smith says:

    This is certainly not the only one of its kind in the South West. ATS Group are based across the whole of the South of the UK and thier HQ is around five times the size of Wildanets TC. Just so you are aware.

    http://www.atsgroupuk.co.uk take a look

  6. Avatar photo Michael Abbott says:

    Correct. The largest and most recognised training academy in the South if the UK is ATS Group. Training Construction, Civils, Highways and Telecoms. They deliver Apprenticeships in each sector, have 14 trakmimg rooms at the one i visited and even have thier own cafeteria on-site!!!

    Makes this one look average.

Comments are closed

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