Broadband delight as Shropshire couple connected to superfast network
The first customers to receive superfast broadband as part of the Connecting Shropshire project say they are delighted after it went live in a village near Shifnal.
The project, part of the UK Government's superfast broadband roll out and supported by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership, is part of an £11.2 million contract to extend superfast broadband to more than 14,000 local premises by 2020.
IT security manager Andrew Lee and his wife Sulayma, who live in a village outside Shifnal, are the first to be installed with the superfast broadband under the first phase of the project.
The couple have been waiting for faster broadband for four years and are delighted to now have the connection from internet service provider, Airband.
Mr Lee said: "We live in a tiny village with just 46 houses, three miles from Shifnal, close to Cosford airbase, but our communications have always been poor.
"When BT upgraded the exchange in Albrighton it didn't make any difference to us, so we were really keen to get a better connection with Airband.
"It is a challenging location so installation wasn't straightforward. I think this is because we are in a valley and it took a while to establish line-of-sight connection and also because our house is a listed building. They were very patient and thorough and to be honest I'm overjoyed with the results.
"Before our Airband connection, we had download speed of 2.5 Mbps. Streaming stuff was awful - it was always buffering - and working from home was almost impossible. Now we have 30 Mbps and I am able to work from home when I need to."
This week's first live customer announcement comes just a few weeks after Connecting Shropshire and Airband announced the live launch of the first transmitter site, serving over 300 homes and businesses.
Boost to Shropshire's economy
The transmitter provides superfast broadband connectivity of 30Mbps to parts of Sheriffhales and Shifnal parishes, and other communities further east, such as Tong.
Now that the network for phase one is well underway, it is anticipated that superfast broadband will be available to 7,000 homes by the end of spring this year.
Nic Laurens, Shropshire Council's cabinet member for broadband, added: "Making superfast broadband available to 14,000+ homes and businesses by the end of 2020 will be a boost to Shropshire's economy.
"We want to improve the personal and professional lives of people in Shropshire and delivering better broadband services is a key part of this aim."