We are delighted to have been chosen to rollout the next super fast broadband across Devon and Somerset with particular focus on Exmoor and Dartmoor.
We will be responsible for connecting some 5,800 homes and businesses through a fixed wireless access network based in the National Parks.
Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth for Devon County Council, said: “We are delighted that Airband has been chosen to roll out superfast broadband across the Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks. They were selected for their innovative approach to delivering broadband in remote areas.
“This contract announcement represents the next big step towards our aim of achieving 100% coverage across the region. It means more and more residents and businesses will be able to benefit from this innovative technology and faster internet connection speeds, enhancing their lives and productivity respectively.”
Councillor David Hall, Deputy Leader of Somerset County Council, added: “These are very exciting times for the region, as it becomes increasingly connected and this new contract represents a key part of our journey to bring faster broadband speeds to the whole of the region.
“This stage of the roll out will have a strong focus on the business community, including homeworkers, courtesy of funding from the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, eventually helping to provide a predicted three quarters of a billion pound economic boost to the region.
Peter Harper, Chairman of Dartmoor National Park, said: “We are delighted that this contract has been signed; improved broadband coverage on Dartmoor is a top priority for the National Park Authority. We have worked hard with the Connecting Devon and Somerset Partnership to develop a specification that works with the unique nature of Dartmoor and are delighted that Airband has put forward some innovative solutions to reach our deeply rural communities.
“We recognise how important broadband connectivity is to Dartmoor communities – it is an essential service to help people, work, live, learn and play. We are pleased that this new phase of the programme will deliver superfast broadband to some of our most hard to reach homes and businesses. We will continue to try to find solutions and funding to ensure the remaining hard to reach areas can benefit from this essential service.”
Dr Nigel Stone, Chief Executive of Exmoor National Park Authority, said: “We are very pleased that this contract with Airband will improve the delivery of superfast broadband to a significant number of premises and in addition will ensure everybody across Exmoor will have access to improved broadband.
Steve Hindley, Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSW LEP) said: “We are very pleased that the success of the Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) project will benefit the business and resident communities of our two national parks with superfast broadband to help drive business growth.
“CDS is one of the main connectivity projects supported by HotSW LEP through the Growth Deal and Growing Places Fund – connectivity being a central aim of our Strategic Economic Plan – it’s also the largest superfast broadband project in England which helps us achieve another of our central aims: to increase HotSW’s contribution to UK plc. We are committed to continuing to work with CDS to deliver the maximum outputs possible for superfast broadband throughout the Heart of the South West area.”
Cllr Karen Mills from West Somerset District Council said “This is great news for West Somerset and Exmoor as it opens up new opportunities for business growth and the ability for residents to work remotely. A significant positive factor for the residents of Exmoor! This cannot come soon enough.”
Redmond Peel, Managing Director of Airband, commented: “We are delighted to have been chosen to deploy the first large scale fixed network within the UK. Knowing how essential high speed broadband is to both homes and businesses, we are looking forward to working with the local residents and businesses in Devon and Somerset to provide fast internet connections. Already providing internet services in many rural areas we appreciate the need for everyone to have access to the same high speeds. It is our desire to remove the rural/urban divide so everyone can have the same access to this essential service.”
“Our extensive knowledge of deploying services in the Welsh hills has given us experience and insight into dealing with the geographical challenges that we will come across in the National Parks and our use of a high proportion of existing structures and buildings to build a robust network will reduce planning issues and time lags for delivery. Our solution uses state of the art data radio technology with radios capable of up to 100Mbps in place of fibre, ensuring high speed connection where fibre is not available.”