New wireless technology can help Britain accelerate out of broadband slow lane
Britain can accelerate out of the broadband slow lane using new wireless technology to extend the reach of fibre networks into left-behind communities, according to WeLink Communications UK. The alt-net internet service provider spoke out after the government promised to deliver gigabit-capable broadband to the majority of the population by 2030.
CEO Natalie Duffield said: “We believe that fixed wireless networks can help Britain hit the target by rapidly extending the reach of fibre into broadband black-spots. Wireless networks overcome the delays and disruption affecting the deployment of fibre in urban and rural areas, where many thousands of households and businesses remain incapable of receiving decent broadband. Even when premises have access to full-fibre broadband, barely a quarter are taking it up*.
“Why should communities in left-behind locations have to wait until the next decade to enjoy the full social and economic benefits of the digital world when the technology to bring them lightning-fast connectivity exists here and now?
WeLink uses millimetre wave spectrum to extend signals between outdoor waypoints to bring broadband coverage into customers’ premises. Its patented technology is above-ground, accessible to engineers and frequently updated – and will soon be capable of delivering speeds of up to 2.5 gigabits per second. The radios transmit a tiny fraction of the power compared to mainstream gigabit equipment, making the service a greener alternative with minimum emissions during installation and maintenance.
WeLink launched Britain’s first major wireless gigabit service in Edinburgh city centre last summer, bringing lightning-fast speeds to the Old and New Towns without the delay and disruption of digging up streets in a World Heritage Site. According to Ofcom, nearly 7,500 premises in Scotland’s capital are unable to get 30mbps broadband – considered to be the minimum viable speed for services like video calls, which are increasingly essential for education, healthcare and commerce.
Britain’s broadband speeds are among the slowest in western Europe, according to global industry research.** The government is due to publish its Wireless Infrastructure Strategy later this year. WeLink took part in the consultation exercise and responded to the call for evidence.