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Wildanet See Progress on Cornwall UK’s Project Gigabit Broadband Rollout

Monday, Jun 17th, 2024 (2:17 pm) - Score 840
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Broadband ISP Wildanet, which in January 2023 secured the £36m state aid fuelled Project Gigabit broadband roll-out contract to cover more than 19,250 hard-to-reach premises across rural parts of Cornwall in South West England (here), has today revealed that they’ve already covered 3,500 premises across 9 FTTP build locations.

The Cornwall project actually reflects two local supplier contracts under the government’s Project Gigabit scheme – Central Cornwall (Lot 32.03) and South West Cornwall (Lot 32.02) – with the funding and premises being fairly evenly split between both.

NOTE: Wildanet is supported by an investment of £100m from Gresham House and mainly focuses its deployments upon parts of Cornwall and Devon. The company is home to 220 staff (double what they had 18-months ago).

The construction phase for this began last summer and the first premises started to go live in March 2024 (here), but since then they’ve expanded this coverage to 3,500 homes and businesses. The operator now states that they’re “on schedule” to make the service available to more than 6,000 premises by the end of 2024, supported by build partners such as CGS, L Traffic, RBS Groundworks, MMB, Dynamic Fibre, Oakway, CTS and SGC etc.

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The work has so far required more than 230km of new fibre optic cable to be laid, which has meant harnessing both existing cable ducts/poles, and some 120km of new physical infrastructure installation and civil engineering work. In addition, the operator has had to construct a total of 950 new chambers to help house some of the related kit (nodes, splitters etc.).

Wylde-Archibald, Wildanet CEO, said:

“Wildanet was founded with a mission to bridge the digital divide and to unlock the social and economic opportunities which fast, reliable internet can deliver. It’s a huge challenge and one which we could not achieve without the partnership and support of a wide range of businesses across Cornwall, Devon and beyond who share our passion, values and commitment to extending digital inclusion into the areas in which we work.

I would like to give special mention to our Build Partners and key suppliers who have been instrumental in the roll-out of Wildanet’s Full Fibre network. The strong partnerships we have created with each one of our build partners has enabled us to achieve this milestone and to continue building the network at pace.

The progress to date has been fantastic as together we have tackled a network build in areas which have previously proved too hard for the major telecoms operators and in the face of some of the most challenging winter and spring weather any of us can remember. To each and every one of our team and to our suppliers and contractors, I say ‘thank you’.

We now look forward to continuing the close working relationships we have developed, the mutual trust and support which makes this such a special team effort, as we move forward together to complete the build over the next 18 months.”

We should point out that Wildanet also recently won the £41m Project Gigabit contract to roll-out new full fibre broadband connections to a further 16,800 premises in East Cornwall, West Cornwall and the island of St Mary’s in the Isles of Scilly (here). Installation works on this are expected to get under way during the Autumn 2024, while the first premises are anticipated to have access to gigabit-capable broadband in 2025.

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Mark-Jackson
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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