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One thousand and counting

Claire and Ed Hitch, who farm Devon Red Ruby pedigree beef cattle at their farm near Whatchet in Exmoor National Park, have become the 1000th customers of Airband’s superfast broadband network across Exmoor and Dartmoor national parks.

To celebrate the milestone, the independent fibre and wireless broadband provider is giving the Hitches six months’ free internet service.

Claire Hitch said: “When we took over the farm in September this year (2019), the previous tenants told us we should choose an Airband service, and we’re glad we did; it has worked really well for us. We use the internet for everything from cattle passports to purchasing farm equipment to basic emailing.”

Broadband is also used to connect 360-degree CCTV cameras in the farm’s barns and stables to a screen in the farmhouse kitchen and to the Hitches mobile phones.

Completed in September 2018, Airband’s network was built over a three year period with support from Connecting Devon and Somerset and the national park authorities. It now delivers connectivity to more than 6,000 premises.

Set up 10 years ago, Airband specialises in providing connectivity to rural towns and remote and hard-to-reach areas via government-funded and demandled projects. This heritage is reflected in the company’s new mission statement: ‘Transforming Connectivity for people and communities who deserve better’.

Redmond Peel, founder and director of Airband, said: “We started out building wireless networks for remote areas and we have now become one of the UK’s leading hybrid broadband providers, delivering both fibre and wireless broadband across at least 15 different counties in England and Wales. In our fibre delivery, our preferred method is to deliver fibre using overhead fibre. This means we can deploy full fibre broadband more quickly than traditional fibre dig alone or wireless-only deployments.”

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