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Private Equity firm backs buy out of broadband company

Mid-market Private Equity firm Bowmark Capital has backed the buy-out of Sheffield broadband firm ASK4. Founded in Sheffield in 2000 by CEO Jonathan Burrows, ASK4 partners with universities, private sector student accommodation providers, residential apartment developers, and businesses, to provide high speed internet solutions and managed data services for multi-tenant accommodation. The firm currently serves over 160,000 customers more 400 sites in the UK and Europe. Bowmark is acquiring its interest from ASK4’s previous… For the full story register now for free[1] or login below…

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Uno launches up to 330Mbps broadband pilot

How does getting triple digit download speeds over a BT phone line sound? Uno is seeking trialists to take part in a pilot scheme for two ultrafast broadband services, which promise top download speeds of 160Mbps and 330Mbps. These will set you back GBP34.95/month and GBP39.99/month (plus VAT) respectively, plus GBP97 for installation and set-up, and an Openreach modem.

Line rental isn’t included in the price, though this can be added for an extra GBP9.99/month. As it’s a trial scheme, the small print says that Uno may cancel within 30 days’ notice, despite there being a 12 month minimum contract. The pilot scheme is also only available in selected areas, which Uno’s listed here on its Facebook page[1].

Price-wise, that’s a little better per month than what BT’s offering[2], though as ISP Review[3] notes, you won’t get any nice extras thrown in like BT WiFi, guaranteed speeds of 100Mbps at all times, 1000GB’s worth of online storage.

That said, the Sheffield-based ISP also offers 24 hour support Monday to Friday, secures customer accounts with one time passwords or YubiKey[4] and is also a corporate sponsor of privacy and digital rights advocates the Open Rights Group[5], all good signs that Uno takes the handling of its customers’ data seriously.


  1. ^ listed here on its Facebook page (
  2. ^ that’s a little better per month than what BT’s offering (
  3. ^ ISP Review (
  4. ^ YubiKey (
  5. ^ Open Rights Group (

Chamber calls for better broadband

Nottingham has among the worst 4G internet coverage in the UK, as we revealed yesterday1. In terms of both speed and connection reliability, Nottingham featured in the bottom 20% in the tests carried out in the 20 largest cities in the country. By contrast, Leicester featured in the top four, behind Middlesbrough, Sheffield and Sunderland.

The study comes a few months after a Government report found Britain’s 4G mobile coverage lagged behind peers such as Japan and the US. The report, by the infrastructure watchdog the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), ranked the UK 54th in the world. The latest study, which was carried out for Which?

by OpenSignal, found that as well as coverage issues there was a huge difference in download speed for 4G mobile users in cities across the UK. Scott Knowles, chief executive at East Midlands Chamber, said: “There are still major issues around delivery of reliable and fast broadband across the East Midlands, both in our cities and rural county areas, even within Leicester itself which fared quite well in this latest report.

“Our members in Leicester tell us frequently that their internet connectivity is not fast enough, nor reliable enough to meet the demands of their business. And the finding that Nottingham is in the lowest quarter of the report corroborates what our members tell us.

“Recently, we led a campaign to improve broadband connectivity and speed on an industrial estate in Chesterfield – only ten miles south of Sheffield, which came second to Middlesbrough in this latest report – because firms there just didn’t have access to useable internet and were unable to harness digital technology to enhance their global offering.

“In this day and age, with 5G technology just around the corner, it is unacceptable that there are still areas in our major towns and cities and huge swathes of rural communities that do not yet have access to decent internet, never mind high-speed or superfast broadband.

“Having reliable, high-speed broadband is absolutely crucial to the future development, growth and success of business and, therefore, the country as a whole, especially as we plan a future outside the EU.

“We think superfast broadband across the whole country should be an election manifesto priority for the next Government, whatever its political persuasion.

“There must be strong backing for faster deployment of full-fibre solutions and development and delivery of 5G technology to encourage firms to maximise opportunities for growth.”

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