Voneus is now offering Superfast broadband to homes, businesses and farms located in and around the Gloucestershire villages of Sharpness and Newton.

Like many rural communities, Sharpness and Newton struggle with patchy and fluctuating internet connections. With speeds as low as 5Mbps, local residents have insufficient bandwidth to work and learn remotely, to stay in touch with loved ones, to stream TV and even to shop online.

In addition, farms and other local firms have battled to conduct their businesses efficiently and competitively. The villages’ remote locations, on the banks of the Severn Estuary, means that laying fibre optic cable has been prohibitively expensive.

To solve this problem, Voneus has designed and built a new Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) broadband network.

Now live, this network delivers speeds of 30Mbps and higher to customers in the area, including those located in remote locations on the other side of the River Severn.

Local businesses key to rollout

Voneus partnered with Sharpness-based logistics firm, Howard Tenens. The company, which has a logistics hub in Sharpness Docks, was itself wrestling with poor connection speeds, compounded by poor mobile network coverage in the area.

As well as bringing the benefits of faster broadband to the local community, it wanted a faster, more reliable connection to underpin its own communications.

Voneus has provided Howard Tenens with a new dedicated line, whilst also installing equipment on its building which, at 32m high, is the perfect vantage point from which to transmit broadband to the rest of the local community.

From Howard Tenens, wireless broadband is beamed to several farms in the local area, including one across the Severn Estuary, creating a virtual bridge across the water. All local businesses and homes with an unbroken line of sight to one of these farms can now access Voneus’ range of services.

“It’s brilliant to once again be able to combine our creative engineering with local community spirit to connect another deserving rural community to Superfast speeds, especially at a time when decent broadband has been so critical to our daily lives,” said Steve Leighton, CEO, Voneus. “Howard Tenens together with a number of local farmers have been exceptionally keen to help out, not just because they were frustrated with their own network speeds, but because they recognise the economic and social benefits that decent broadband delivers to remote – often forgotten – communities.”

Higher speeds and more content with no disruption

Voneus has deployed a new type of antennae for this project, which is capable of providing Superfast speeds to more premises than previously possible. In addition, by installing its equipment on farms that are strategically placed across the area, Voneus has the potential to reach even more villages and small towns in the surrounding area.

As well as benefiting from faster broadband services, residential customers signing up to Voneus’ services will also have access to netgem.tv’s range of content, which includes both free and paid TV.

As all of these services are delivered wirelessly, so there is no need to dig up roads –  the equipment has been designed and installed in such a way that it is sensitive to the surrounding countryside.

“Having spent time with various members of the Sharpness and Newton communities, it is clear that our Superfast broadband service will have a huge positive impact to their lives,” said Richard Rees, the project manager at Voneus who oversaw the deployment. “With the immense help of Howard Tenens Logistics, we will be able to reach as many of those people as possible – they have been fantastic to work with and really care about the people in their community.”