Broadband business speeds up rural rollout


Independent internet service provider Airband, based in Worcester, has recruied additional engineers and extended its fleet to cope with increased demand as it deploys high speed broadband across Shropshire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Devon and Somerset.

Airband specialises in high speed broadband for homes, business and industry across rural and hard-to-reach areas, and demand-led community broadband projects.

“We want to get out to our customers and get installations done as quickly as possible,” said Peter Mathers, Airband Operations Director.

“Airband’s existing contracts with local councils call for us to deliver superfast broadband connectivity to at least 35,000 rural homes and businesses over the next two years, and we expect this to grow this significantly as people in rural communities realise they can now enjoy the same services as people in the big towns and cities,” explained Mr Mathers.

“Meanwhile, we are steaming ahead on our new superfast fibre broadband deployment to rural communities in Herefordshire as part of the Fastershire project,” he said.

Fastershire is a partnership between Herefordshire Council and Gloucestershire County Council to bring faster broadband to the two counties. Airband was awarded a stage 4 contract to provide superfast to 10 dispersed clusters of premises with funding from the Rural Broadband Infrastructure Scheme. The scheme is managed by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs using the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE).

“We’re providing a fibre broadband network across Herefordshire and Shropshire and some surrounding areas – in 10 geographical clusters,” said Mr Mathers.

“The first properties that we’ve connected using fibre broadband are in the Tedstone Wafre /Saltmarsh area and they go live in May 2019.  The whole roll-out in the Marches is extensive and all clusters are scheduled to be finished by the end of 2020,” he added.

“In many communities, we are using the existing public infrastructure – the poles and ducts etc that are already in place – which is great because it makes the whole process a lot quicker and importantly it minimises disruption to the community. So, look out for our new fleet and our engineers as we bring superfast broadband to your area and contact us so we can plan to then install at your home or premise,” said Mr Mathers.