Boost for thousands more homes and businesses as Connecting Shropshire announces £11.2m contract
Connecting Shropshire today (Monday 10 July 2017) announced that Airband Community Internet Ltd will be the delivery partner for the next phase of Shropshire Council’s superfast broadband programme.
Since 2002, Airband has been providing high-speed wireless broadband access to rural areas. The Worcester-based company will be responsible for delivering superfast broadband to over 14,000 homes and businesses in the Shropshire Council area over the next three years.
Airband will be deploying wireless broadband, which works by sending a signal from a transmitter on a mast, to a receiver attached to the property. A cable is then run into the building allowing the end-user to access the Internet in the same way as any other broadband connection.
Nic Laurens, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for broadband, said:
“I am delighted that we have secured a technology partner that can deliver superfast broadband to some of the most rural parts of the county. When this contract is completed, we expect 98% of premises in the council area to have access to superfast broadband. This means that even more people living, working and visiting Shropshire will be able to benefit from access to faster Internet connection speeds, enhancing their quality of life. The Connecting Shropshire programme runs until 2020 and will continue to work towards providing superfast broadband to all premises without access to it, and we remain confident in being able to achieve this aspiration.”
Graham Wynn OBE, Chairman of the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said:
“Slow Internet speeds are a significant barrier to business growth, which is why we secured just over £5m in our Growth Deal with the Government to help us address the issue working with our partner, Shropshire Council. As well as connecting up thousands of businesses with superfast broadband, this investment is also expected to boost our regional economy by around £220m.”
Redmond Peel, Managing Director of Airband, commented:
“We are delighted to have won the contract to deploy our fixed wireless network in Shropshire. Knowing how essential high-speed broadband is, we are looking forward to working with local residents and businesses to provide fast and reliable Internet connections.
“Our experience of building masts to deploy wireless broadband services in the Midlands, Wales, Dartmoor and Exmoor has given us extensive insight into dealing with the geographical challenges that we will come across in Shropshire. Our solution uses state-of-the-art radio technology, ensuring high-speed connections where fibre broadband is not available. Using wireless overcomes many of the speed and reliability issues that are experienced with long copper cable lengths, meaning that many who have long suffered from poor broadband due to their locality will soon be able to access speeds comparable to those of their urban counterparts.”
About Connecting Shropshire
The Connecting Shropshire programme is bringing superfast broadband to parts of the Shropshire Council area where it isn’t economically viable for commercial companies to do so.
Since 2013, Connecting Shropshire has provided over 60,000 premises in the Shropshire Council area with access to a faster broadband connection.
Connecting Shropshire programme website: http://connectingshropshire.co.uk/
About Superfast Britain
Superfast Britain is a Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, this investment helps businesses to grow, creates jobs and will make Britain more competitive in the global race.
Administered on behalf of Government by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Superfast Britain is transforming Britain by promoting growth, enabling skills and learning, and improving quality of life. For further information: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk
Abouth the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership
The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is driving accelerated economic growth through investment in innovation, higher level skills, housing and business sites across the region. It aims to deliver 70,000 homes and 40,000 jobs by 2031.
The Marches region, which includes Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, is a dynamic business region where entrepreneurs flourish alongside global players. Covering 2,300 sq miles and with a growing population of 666,700, it is home to 29,800 businesses and a £12.3 billion economy.
Bordered by the West Midlands to the east and Wales to the west, the Marches’ key centres of population and employment are the city of Hereford and thriving towns of Shrewsbury and Telford. A network of 25 smaller market towns and a large rural area make up the rest of the settlement mix – with the Marches recognised as being one of the most enterprising regions in the UK.
High profile businesses which have chosen to base operations here include BAE Defence Systems; GKN; Westons Cider; Grainger & Worrall; Stadco; Caterpillar; Mϋller Dairy UK, Doncasters Aerospace, Denso, Capgemini, Ricoh, Cargill, Heineken, Grocontinental, McConnels, Kerry Ingredients, Special Metals, Kingspan and Makita.
The Marches is also home to centres of excellence and institutions which promote and foster the transfer of knowledge including Harper Adams University and its National Centre for Precision Farming, University Centre Shrewsbury, the University of Wolverhampton campus and e-innovation centre at Priorslee, and Food Enterprise Centre in Shrewsbury.
The designated Enterprise Zone of the Marches LEP is in Hereford, at Skylon Park. It is the only Enterprise Zone in England with a unique defence and security sector focus, drawing on the city’s heritage as the home of the SAS.
The LEP area is home to some iconic places of interest. The Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, the Shropshire Hills and the Wye Valley Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Offa’s Dyke, the rivers Severn and Wye, and places of national renown including Ludlow and Ross-on-Wye make it a highly popular place to both visit and relocate to.
The Marches has a diverse business base and is recognised for its sector strength in advanced manufacturing and engineering; agri-food and drink; automotive and defence & security.
Business support in the Marches is offered via the Marches Growth Hub, a business-friendly website at www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk and helpline on 0345 6000 727, developed by the LEP.
Airband is an Internet service provider that focuses on delivering superfast broadband to hard to reach and rural communities across England and Wales where a traditional fibre solution cannot be used. This is achieved by using fixed wireless radio wave technology to bring speeds of 20Mbps to 1Gbps, connecting users to the internet via overground transmissions rather than digging up roads to lay underground cables. The result is a low impact solution ideally suited to rural areas, National Parks and AONBs.
With over 10 years’ experience, the Airband team plan, install and maintain a private network, tailoring the solution to the local environment, taking into account the geography, the existing wireless landscape and the economics of each project, enabling the best possible connection and speed to each location.