A number of homes in the rural Monmouthshire village of Llanddewi Rhydderch are for the first time benefiting from Gigabit broadband as part of an innovative UK Government backed 5G Pilot, delivered by Broadway Partners.
In an area five miles to the east of Abergavenny, where speeds of less than 1Mbps are the norm, residents within the trial are now experiencing Gigabit Speed.
The Pilot, funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), uses a 60GHz ‘mesh’ technology developed by Cambridge Communication Systems Ltd (CCS) to reach hard-to-connect properties which have, until now, had no other option than to suffer with a slow and buffering connection.
CCS specialises in high performance mesh radio that allowed Broadway to design and deliver the initial Pilot in a matter of weeks, rather than the months or years that a fibre deployment would have required.
Martin Harriman, Executive Chairman of CCS said: “This is an important trial of our Metnet 60G Mesh radio, which until now has only been deployed in relatively dense urban environments. Proving the technical and commercial case for its use in rural areas, to support both fixed and 5G mobile broadband, expands the range of technology options available to ISPs and mobile operators.”
Working with DCMS and the 5G Rural Integrated Testbed (5GRIT) consortium, of which it is a member, Broadway chose Llanddewi Rhydderch as the pilot area, not only because it’s well known locally as the ‘forgotten village’, but also for the active support of Welsh Government, Monmouthshire County Council and the buy-in from the local broadband action group headed up by Lucy Hywell.
With broadband networks on the Isle of Arran, around Loch Ness, and in Perthshire and Kinross, Broadway provided fast and efficient broadband in mid Monmouthshire. The Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 financially supported the new network in Monmouthshire. This success has allowed residents and businesses to connect to this superfast network, which in turn paved the way for this 5G trial.
County Councilor Sara Jones, Monmouthshire’s cabinet member for community development added: “Monmouthshire is renowned for its natural beauty and its appeal as a place to live and play. With the success of this 5G pilot trial, it will become an attractive location for modern businesses to locate, given the quality of its digital infrastructure and the council’s commitment to embracing innovation.”
Broadway has set its sights on turning Llanddewi Rhydderch into its first ‘Gigabit Community’, by utilising its complete technology tool kit – comprising both fibre and wireless solutions – to light up this forgotten village with broadband speeds of up to 1,000Mbps.
Michael Armitage, Chairman and CEO of Broadway Partners, said: “We are thrilled to be delivering this leading-edge technology to the community of Llanddewi Rhydderch as part of its work with DCMS, the 5GRIT team, CCSL and Monmouthshire County Council.”
Digital Minister Margot James added: "Through our modern industrial strategy we are building a 5G Britain fit for the future, keeping communities connected in a digital world. Our 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme is helping to make sure that rural areas like Monmouthshire are not left behind and can also see the benefits of new 5G technology."
About Broadway Partners
Broadway Partners’ mission is ‘to connect the unconnected’ and is committed to delivering high quality and affordable broadband services to 100% of people and businesses, wherever it operates. Broadway uses highly innovative shared spectrum technologies such as TV WhiteSpace radio – able to go where other radio systems cannot reach; it employs innovative business models to ensure the viability and sustainability of its business; and it works with the leaders in the shared spectrum industry such as Microsoft, Nominet and the Universities of Strathclyde and King’s College London.
CCS (Cambridge Communication Systems) is the creator of Metnet – the world’s first self-organising mmWave mesh for Gigabit backhaul and access applications. From dense urban cities to rural communities, Metnet can be deployed for 4G LTE and 5G small cell backhaul, Enterprise and Residential Fixed Wireless Access (FWA), Smart City, Wi-Fi and CCTV backhaul.
In major live deployments, Metnet is powering networks to mmWave 5G performance – intuitively, scalably, flexibly and cost-effectively. Delivering high capacity, ultra-low latency and ultra-fast deployment, Metnet is optimised for performance edge and multigigabit capacity.
Metnet’s proven capability is trusted at the heart of some of the world’s most demanding and data-heavy networks, including a pre-5G network for Telefonica O2 in London, at the heart of the world’s largest financial centre.
With a unique self-organising mesh solution for enabling 5G – and beyond – CCS’s innovation and vision is delivering connectivity around the world.