Broadband and telecoms

Airband broadband – an update

Following the promotion, but not endorsement, by the parish council of internet service provider Airband to provide cost-effective fibre broadband to the premises, it’s troubling to find that the suggested install date of autumn seems stuck in a perpetual loop of slippage.

Autumn slipped to December, December to February and now, despite prompting there is now no date for the install. Further, the company, at the end of November, sent an email suggesting that more subscribers were required in the parish before the install could take place.

Airband have repeatedly promised confirmation that the install would go ahead regardless, as well as a projected install date.

However, on making contact with the original project manager, it appears that there are several issues that the company is contending with. Coronavirus hasn’t been helpful; more people are working from home and it’s putting a strain on their network requiring more investment as well as delaying rollouts. Also, the company says its contract work has become very burdensome and is causing knock-on delays.

The manager was blunt and upfront. At this point, there is no guarantee that FTTP will come to the parish – it’s not yet been signed off by the board. It’s probable, but not certain. However, some will have noticed Airband vehicles in the area laying fibre; they’re connecting council contract premises from the Thame exchange in the Chinnor area.

According to the manager, those who are less than 70 metres from this fibre can seek a connection. But it won’t be under the rural broadband voucher scheme that will apply to everyone else in the parish.

While the parish council did not endorse Airband, it is nevertheless necessary to make the current situation known to each subscriber so that they can make their own mind up as to whether to stay on board.