Wildanet Marks the Start of a £50 Million Investment into a New Hyperfast Broadband Network for Cornwall

Cornish broadband provider, Wildanet, is celebrating work getting under way on the multi-million-pound roll out of its new broadband network across the county.

The new hyperfast network is set to transform connectivity for hard to reach areas of Cornwall previously by-passed by the major providers and will be capable of delivering gigabit speeds, which are roughly 40 times faster than the average download speeds currently available in Cornwall.

The first communities to benefit will be in Wildanet’s hometown of Liskeard and the surrounding rural areas within the PL14 postcode, with about 6,000 premises expected to be able to receive the new service. Work is already underway and is expected to complete in the Liskeard area early Autumn.

Ian Calvert, Founder and Chief Executive of Wildanet, said: “We are delighted to be marking this milestone moment for Wildanet and for the many communities in Cornwall still struggling with poor connectivity and at risk of being left behind by the digital revolution.

“Fast, reliable broadband is an essential part of modern life as has been demonstrated more than ever in the last 12 months when we have all become so much more dependent on our internet connections. With this trend likely to continue and a growing number of devices within the home, having a fast and reliable connection is going to become an increasingly important part of our day-to-day lives.

“We don’t want anyone left behind and our mission is to bridge the digital divide and ensure that all communities and businesses, however remote or rural across Cornwall, have access to the internet they need and deserve.”

Wildanet Van Bottom Up Angle

Wildanet has been connecting homes and businesses in Cornwall since 2017, largely using fixed wireless technology to bring superfast broadband to communities otherwise limited to broadband access via the more traditional and slower copper cable networks. The traditional broadband infrastructure of copper and fibre continues to get clogged up with oversubscription, which is part of the reason the larger internet providers stumbled across difficulties in rural Cornish areas. After early investment from a number of Angel investors supported by Crowdcube and The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF), at the end of 2020 Wildanet secured a £50m investment from the Gresham House BSI Infrastructure Fund LP (“BSIF”) to enable it to roll out its new gigabit-capable broadband network across the county.

While much of the physical installation of the new network will run along the existing highway, Wildanet is also keen to work closely with farmers and other landowners to allow fibre cables to be routed across their land where it is not possible to use public footpaths, verges and roads.

Two Wildanet Vans

Sheryll Murray, Member of Parliament for South East Cornwall said: “Access to fast and reliable broadband is hugely important so it is great to see Wildanet beginning the installation of its new network in Liskeard, bringing the benefits of gigabit capable connectivity to the town and surrounding rural communities.

It’s an exciting first step in the expansion of their network across Cornwall and good news for families, businesses and the wider Cornwall economy.”

Cllr Rachel Brooks, Mayor of Liskeard, said: "We are very pleased that Wildanet chose Liskeard as their base, as one of a growing number of digital companies in the town. The company clearly has exciting plans and I know they are also committed to supporting the local community in a variety of ways."

In addition to helping tackle digital exclusion and supporting business growth in Cornwall, Wildanet aims to directly and indirectly create up to 98 new jobs during the roll-out of its network expansion.

The network itself represents the most advanced technology available and guarantees download, as well as upload speeds, which is critical for modern video and bandwidth-heavy applications.

Wildanet is a registered supplier with the UK Gigabit Voucher scheme, administered by the Department for Digital, Culture Media & Sport, which is aimed at providing support for the costs of installing gigabit broadband to homes and businesses in rural areas.

Wildanet is also backed by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (“CIOSIF”) who have supported the business since 2018.

For more information about Wildanet and to find out if their broadband service is available in your area yet, enter your postcode here.

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Wildanet is the Cornish broadband provider bringing superfast and super-reliable service to homes and businesses throughout the region.

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