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UPDATE2 South Yorkshire UK Digital Region Broadband ISP RiPWiRE Cease Trading

Posted: 06th Feb, 2012 By: MarkJ
digital region ukripwire uk digital regionThe financially troubled superfast broadband Digital Region network in South Yorkshire (UK), which effectively acts as a publicly funded and open access alternative to BT, appears to have taken another hit after one of its supporting retail ISPs, RiPWiRE, suddenly announced in an email to customers that it "unfortunately had to cease trading" as of 1st February 2012.
RiPWiRE Email (Sheffield Forum)

Dear RiPWiRE customers,

As you may be aware RiPWiRE has unfortunately had to cease trading as of 01/02/2012. An option to maintain the current client requirements is in negotiation with a leading provider and a conclusion to those negotiations should be reached tomorrow. In the meantime core internet access and service is being maintained by RiPWIRE.

RiPWiRE's network is and has always been independent of Digital Region and as of this time is under our control only.

We are not in a position to provide any 1st line support at this time.

Liam Winder
Managing Director
RiPWiRE does not disclose which "leading provider" it is in negotiations with. The Digital Region network has never managed to attract any big name ISPs, which is one of the problems. Thankfully the Digital Region project does have four ISPs left and two of the most consumer focused options are Littlebigone and Origin Broadband.

It's also important to stress that RiPWiRE provided other services, such as wireless connectivity solutions, which were not all strictly dependent upon Digital Region but would be more complicated to migrate. Credits to Thinkbroadband for spotting this letter.

UPDATE 7th February 2012

Ripwire has issued a statement to the BBC that appears to blame the Digital Region project directly for its demise.

RiPWiRE Statement:

"We have experienced a host of commercial and technical issues which led to halted roll-outs from major NHS organisations and general network instability for our residential users which grew more and more difficult for us to support on an ongoing basis."

UPDATE 8th February 2012

Ask4 have gobbled up RiPWiRE (here).
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