Mel Stride

    OKEHAMPTON’S award-winning business centre struggled with poor Wi-Fi speeds for its 16 business units until Airband stepped in to provide high speed broadband. One of the centre’s businesses, Clinical Architecture, says that poor broadband was undermining the growth of its business. Its Director, Andrew Frangleton, said: 

    “We had 0.5 Mbps upload and 12 Mbps download which was very difficult for us to work with. We provide software solutions to optimise healthcare data, so working in this field it’s really important that we have a robust broadband connection.”

    In February last year the firm contacted independent internet service provider Airband, who organised a high-speed wireless connection delivering upload and download speeds of 50 Mbps. Airband is currently building a new wireless network as part of the Connecting Devon & Somerset (CDS) that will provide access to superfast broadband for around 13,000 homes and businesses across West Devon, North Devon & Torridge by December 2019 and is finalising its network serving around 5,000 hard to reach properties in Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks with superfast broadband.  As part of this programme, Airband will be siting a new transmitter at Okehampton Business Park which will bring connectivity not only to new businesses locating to the park but also other businesses and domestic properties within the wider Okehampton area

    Okehampton’s Member of Parliament Mel Stride visited the Business Centre today  where he discussed the key role Airband & CDS is playing in providing more homes and businesses with faster internet across his Central Devon constituency.

    Speaking after the meeting Mr Stride said:

    “There is no doubt that in our digital age inadequate internet speeds hold businesses back and impact on economic growth and job creation. Airband has improved speeds in some of the most isolated parts of our rural constituency, especially across Dartmoor. I was pleased to hear about Airband’s new postcode checker which went live today, which will help more homes and businesses see whether they can access faster speeds.”

    Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy & Skills said:

    “I am delighted to see such real-world examples of businesses benefitting from the roll-out of superfast broadband into some of the hardest to reach parts of rural Devon.  It’s particularly encouraging to hear how improved connectivity can make such a difference to how businesses can compete in the region”

    Airband has been working on high speed broadband rollout in Devon and Somerset since 2015, alongside a series of BDUK projects across the UK that aim to bridge the UK’s digital divide. Dartmoor and Exmoor and many surrounding areas struggled with poor connectivity until Airband’s ambitious deployment provided significantly enhanced coverage across the two national parks. For more information about CDS, visit and for details of coverage visit or ring 01905 950471.

    Photo: Mel Stride MP, with Peter Mathers, Airband Operations Director (and Anna Tansley, Airband Community Ambassador) at Okehampton Business Centre.