Wildanet CTO Paddy Paddison appointed Vice-Chair of Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Digital Skills Partnership

Paddy Paddison, the hugely experienced co-founder and Chief Information & Technology Officer of Cornwall-based broadband provider Wildanet, has been appointed as Vice-Chair of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Digital Skills Partnership.

He will bring his inspirational approach and more than 30 years’ experience in the technology sector to help lead the organisation which brings together private, public and third sector organisations with the aim of creating a digital future for Cornwall.

The CIoS Digital Skills Partnership is one of eight local partnerships set up by government as part of its Digital Strategy to create a world-leading digital economy that works for everyone.

In Cornwall that means working with communities and businesses to highlight the opportunities and benefits of digital; focusing on education and upskilling the workforce of the future; promoting sustainability and diversity within the tech sector; and positioning Cornwall as a tech hub, both to the outside world and within the county.

It’s a strategy that aligns with Wildanet’s own mission to extend high-speed broadband to hard-to-reach rural areas, bringing significant socio-economic benefits to communities and businesses, enabling them to be more sustainable, digitally connected and have easier access to essential services.

Paddy brings to the Digital Skills Partnership skills gained over the last 30 years in many diverse roles from the military to computer games development. His current role at Wildanet encompasses a wide range of the company’s operations, including network and new product development, customer installations and cyber security.

Paddy said he was delighted to join the CIoS Digital Skills Partnership Board.

He said: “Digital skills are critical to the success of individuals, the communities they live in, organisations they work for and the county as a whole. I share the Digital Skills Partnership’s vision to create a digital skills ecosystem here in Cornwall to support Cornwall’s future in the future digital economy.

“I strongly believe that Cornwall has the companies, learning organisations and the people that can make Cornwall an international destination for digital skills and companies within the upcoming 4th Industrial Revolution.”

The Digital Skills Partnership is made up of a strategic board which drives the activity of the Partnership, and a group of Digital Skills Champions representing key sectors in Cornwall.

Chair of the Digital Skills Partnership, Caitlin Gould, welcomed Paddy to his new role on the Board, adding: “We are delighted to welcome Paddy on board. His extensive experience, along with his deep commitment to improving opportunities for people in Cornwall will really support our mission. Any successful skills programme, particularly in rural communities, relies on connectivity and kit, so it’s great to have Wildanet on side.”

Founded in 2017 to bring high speed internet access to rural and hard to reach areas, the roll out of Wildanet’s new network is well under way. It now employs more than 130 people and recently opened its newly refurbished headquarters in the landmark Westbourne House, in Liskeard.

The company’s work to bring gigabit-enabled broadband has already been already completed in Liskeard and Dobwalls, and is under way in Torpoint, Callington, Launceston, Wadebridge and Bude in Cornwall. Wildanet is also looking to connect 6,000 homes in Totnes and Dartington in Devon with more areas planned.

Earlier this year, Wildanet unveiled the result of independent research it had commissioned which found investment in gigabit broadband for Cornwall would deliver £615 million and an additional £111 million per year into the Cornish economy - Connecting Cornwall - Demonstrating the Value of Improved Connectivity

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