Rural broadband provider teams up with local school and community activists to end Buckinghamshire village’s ‘not-spot’ status
Voneus, the rural community broadband specialist announced today that its Superfast broadband network is now live in the Buckinghamshire village of Dadford, ending local residents’ three-year wait for decent broadband services.
Despite being less than 20 miles from the well-connected urban centres of Milton Keynes and Northampton, Dadford has remained on the wrong side of the broadband divide, with some local residents and businesses receiving speeds as low as 0.5-2Mbps, well below the UK Government’s universal service obligation (USO), which specifies decent download speeds as at least 10Mbps. Villagers struggled to even load a webpage, let alone stream music and video.
In addition, Dadford’s rural location meant that the cost of laying fibre cables to upgrade from the existing copper infrastructure was prohibitively high. Under the USO, everyone has the right to request a decent and affordable broadband connection, with the caveat that the cost of laying the infrastructure does not exceed £3,400. In Dadford, the cost of laying fibre was expected to be significantly more expensive.
To connect the village of Dadford – which comprises approximately 100 homes and businesses – Voneus needed to employ its characteristically creative approach to engineering. The remote location meant there were few options available for connecting to any pre-existing fibre infrastructure, so the company had to work closely with leading figures in the community to find a workable solution, including a local broadband champion, the council, and the nearby Stowe School. The school – which has its own dedicated fibre connection – is now acting as the broadband hub for the entire community, with Voneus’ Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) infrastructure beaming Superfast broadband services from its premises.
In line with its policy to provide free broadband to at least one public service or building in each of the communities it serves, Voneus is providing Dadford Village Hall with free broadband services.
“The difference Voneus’s broadband has made to the community is immeasurable,” said Warren Whyte, local councillor (Buckinghamshire County Council). “The speeds we used to have were woeful, and Voneus’s service is superb and extremely welcome. I am delighted the new service is now live and that the first residents are already connected and benefitting from a proper broadband service.”
“I have been committed to helping Voneus install their broadband from their very first presentation in our village,” said Colin Stanbrook, local broadband champion. “So many people worked so hard to make this happen but I want to say a special thank you to the Voneus team who have remained in constant contact for almost three years whilst we waited for this day, and who stuck by their promise to get decent broadband to Dadford.”
“This really has been a long time coming,” said Steve Leighton, CEO at Voneus. “I’m so proud of the way Voneus and the community came together to deliver Superfast broadband to Dadford. No one wanted to give up, it’s been a real passion project for everyone involved, and using existing infrastructure in the way we have means we can easily extend the network in the future to benefit others in the area.”