More than ?11m is to be spent to set up wireless broadband in rural parts of Shropshire with the help of a Worcester business. Connecting Shropshire has named Airband Community Internet as the delivery partner for the next phase of the county council’s superfast broadband programme. The council has said the work will take three years to complete and the new transmitters will reach 14,000 homes and businesses.
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. Redmond Peel, managing director of Airband, said: “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.”
Nic Laurens, the 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 per cent of premises in the council area to have access to superfast broadband.”
Anyone looking to download a film or an album in a hurry should head to the affluent north Surrey borough of Elmbridge, it turns out. Research on broadband speeds by consumer brand Which? puts Elmbridge ninth in the UK for quick connectivity. The borough is the only area of Surrey to feature in the top ten, yet the county fares better than parts of Scotland.
The Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands and Highland local authorities numbered one, two and three for the worst broadband speeds in the UK. The minimum download speed proposed under the government’s Universal Service Obligation is 10Mbps, but the study found the average test in 12 local authority areas didn’t reach this speed.
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Despite the majority of slow download speeds coming from rural areas, many local authority areas in big cities are getting below the national average. The London boroughs of Southwark, Westminster, Lambeth, Hackney and the City of London were all found to be lagging behind the UK average, which was identified as 17Mbps in the report.
The fastest areas were Tamworth in the West Midlands, followed by Reading, Adur in West Sussex, Enfield and Dundee City.
How does your area fare? (Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire) Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home services, said: “Far too many households across the UK are suffering from slow broadband speeds, which can stop you being able to carry out essential daily tasks.
“We are encouraging everyone with broadband to use our speed checker so people can see if they are getting the speeds that they’ve been promised by their provider and find out how to complain if their speed is too slow.”
He added: “This will also help to further highlight where problem areas are across the UK, putting pressure on government and providers to help everyone get a good broadband connection.”
The government says superfast broadband is now available to 93% of the UK (Photo: Handout)
A spokesman for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said: “Superfast broadband is now available to 93% of the UK, and we are reaching thousands more homes and businesses every week.
“These figures don’t show what broadband is available – they show many people haven’t taken up speeds that are already available to them.
“Thanks to the Digital Economy Act passed last month, we will now directly ensure universal access to high speed broadband for the whole of the UK.”
research using data from Speed Checker Ltd from January to March 2017 found the top 10 to be:
- Dundee City
- North East Lincolnshire
And the worst…
- Orkney Islands
- Shetland Islands
- Na h-Eileanan Siar
- West Devon
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