SWS Broadband invests in future-proof rural broadband connectivity

SWS Broadband (SWS), a local broadband communications provider is investing to further its aim to reduce the digital divide in rural areas. SWS has been operating in Shropshire and Wales since 2005 and now provides a superfast broadband connection to over 2,500 properties.

SWS is in the process of upgrading its existing wireless mast infrastructure and installing equipment in local telephone exchanges to provide gigabit-capable broadband. This will enable SWS to upgrade whole towns to a Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) broadband solution at the same time as adding future-proof technology to much smaller villages across its current coverage area.

SWS has started work to convert an initial 24 rural villages into ‘Gigabit Villages’ which would otherwise not be able to access the technology had it not been for SWS’s broadband network. In addition, SWS has identified an initial 17 larger communities within the Shropshire area which are eligible for the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme and which can be upgraded by SWS to a future-proofed FTTP broadband solution.

SWS has already registered and ringfenced voucher funding for the villages of Stiperstones and Woolston. SWS still continues to gather interest for gigabit-capable connections and further eligible villages will be contacted over the coming weeks to explain the process, and thus to be able to make use of the Government funding and connecting their communities to the future-proof broadband network.

Where the funding is not yet available, SWS will soon be able to offer speeds of up to 90 Mbps through upgraded fixed wireless access technology.

Chris New, chief strategist and technical officer, commented: “If you live in a remote location and can’t access fast broadband, then you are familiar with the frustrations that it brings. Digital connectivity underpins so many aspects of our lives, and it has been vital this year - from remote working to accessing public services... It is essential for rural communities to thrive.”



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