Connecting Shropshire


Neenton gets ultrafast broadband boost

January 23, 2020 / Leave a comment / Permalink

A small village in the heart of Shropshire has been given the gift of ultrafast speed broadband for 2020 thanks to the Connecting Shropshire programme.

The bar area of The Pheasant at Neenton

Airband’s Shropshire Community Ambassador Andy Chaloner (centre) with Pheasant Manager and Head Chef Mark Harris (second right), Manager Front of House Sarah Cowley (right), Parish Clerk Bobby Jarvis (left) and Cllr Robert Tindall, at The Pheasant, Neenton. Photo: Chas Breton

Connecting Shropshire and Airband have announced that Airband’s ultrafast fibre network is now live in Neenton.

Many houses in Neenton, near Bridgnorth, have suffered with connection speeds of less than 2 Mbps making it a proper digital ‘not spot’. The new fibre optic broadband network will mean that premises can get connected to a broadband service with a download speed of up to 100 Mbps, which is enough to download an HD movie in 2.5 minutes.

The Pheasant at Neenton is a community-owned pub and Airband is providing a free connection for the pub as part of its commitment to championing community values and better connectivity for rural communities.

John Pickup, Chairman of Neenton Parish Meeting and Neenton Community Society which owns and operates the Pheasant, said he was delighted the village will be the first site for Airband’s new rural fibre deployment. “Neenton is a go-ahead, collaborative community – we work together for the common good, so we’re very excited about being able to have ultrafast broadband. Having a free connection for the pub which is our community hub is the icing on the proverbial cake! Ultrafast connectivity really will transform things round here and enable people to work remotely and make use of all kinds of software and applications that they couldn’t before.”

Airband is delivering ultrafast fibre broadband to 40 clusters across Shropshire in the final stage of its contract with Connecting Shropshire. It has already delivered superfast connectivity to 10,500 premises and this ultrafast rollout will deliver ultrafast connectivity to a further 2,200 premises.

Dave Lloyd, head of projects at Airband, said that he was delighted with how smoothly the process had gone. “Bringing ultrafast to Neenton represents everything that Airband is about – we are transforming connectivity for people and communities who deserve better. It’s so rewarding to be able to provide such a vast improvement in broadband speeds and the reaction and appreciation from the villagers here has been incredible. We have already started planning and surveying for the remaining clusters. And when we build our ultrafast networks, we use existing infrastructure wherever possible (eg existing poles and underground ducts), which means we can set up an ultrafast fibre network very rapidly. Once we start building a network in an area, the process from ordering to installation should take just a few weeks.”

Airband’s fibre roll-out in Shropshire includes premises in the following parish council and town council areas: Astley Abbotts, Barrow, Bicton, Hodnet, Llanfair Waterdine, Market Drayton, Pimhill, Prees, Sheriffhales and Tong. All clusters are expected to be live by early 2021.

Lee Chapman, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for organisational transformation and digital infrastructure, said: “I’m really glad to see that Airband are integrating ‘full fibre’ technology into their deployment plans. Access to ultrafast broadband is something we know the Government is eager to support in rural areas. As the rollout of fibre networks progresses through 2020, we expect Airband to be able to offer more fibre connections to other premises along the way.”

The project to deliver better connectivity to Shropshire is supported by the Marches LEP, which secured more than £8m of Growth Deal funding specifically to improve access to high speed broadband in Shropshire, Herefordshire and Telford & Wrekin.

Mandy Thorn, Chairman of the Marches LEP, said “It’s great to see this technology being rolled out in Shropshire. We know that a lack of connectivity hinders business growth and this demonstrates how the LEP is delivering real change to rural communities.”

Robert Tindall, local Shropshire Councillor for Brown Clee, said: “This is great news for Neenton, and The Pheasant in particular. 1,000 premises in my  division already have access to a superfast broadband connection, thanks to Shropshire Council’s Connecting Shropshire broadband programme. Over the next 12 months, 100 homes and businesses in my division are expected to gain access to Airband’s ultrafast broadband networks.”

To find out if you’re in Airband’s current or planned coverage area, please enter your postcode at: or Airband on call 01905 676121 during office hours.

Shrewsbury-based Housing Developer Embraces Full Fibre Broadband

October 30, 2019 / Leave a comment / Permalink

If you’re lucky enough to moving into a new build property, you’d expect to have all the services and mod cons to enable you to live in the 21st century. That’s why Shrewsbury property developers, SY Homes, have made a policy decision to install Openreach’s Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) across each and every one of their future developments.

SY Homes logo

Wayne Sidell, Managing Director of SY Homes explains that ultrafast broadband is an essential part of every new home that they build, “we feel that ultrafast broadband is a necessity in our customers’ day-to-day lives, seemingly almost as much as the usual services such as water and electricity.”

Wayne continues, “it’s apparent that with today’s lifestyles, people are consuming more bandwidth than ever before through applications such as Netflix, YouTube and online gaming. The installation of FTTP ensures that our homes are future-proofed for generations to come.”

“If SY Homes didn’t offer FTTP, we feel that there would be a real danger of losing sales, as it’s a definite factor in the decision process when buying a new home.”

SY Homes’ Old Coleham Court development, due to start in November 2019

“FTTP is being installed at all properties on SY Homes’ current development at Albury Place in St Michaels Street and will also be installed in our future planned developments at Old Coleham Court and The Lord Hill Hotel in Shrewsbury.”

“All of this demonstrates the ongoing commitment of SY Homes to our customers and our vision of high specification homes with market-leading designs.”

Wayne concludes that, “SY Homes considers access to ultrafast broadband, with download speeds of more than 300mbps, as a fantastic selling point. We have a great working relationship with Openreach, but they are having to work hard to change housing developers’ views on installing Fibre To The Premises. This is perhaps surprising, especially as Openreach install FTTP for free on new developments with 30+ plots.”


Notes to Editors

SY Homes contact details:


Openreach information for developers:

Find out how to register your development with Openreach at:

Remember to talk to Openreach at least six months before you want broadband up-and-running.

July 2019 programme update

July 10, 2019 / Leave a comment / Permalink

News from Connecting Shropshire on the following:

  • Introduction from Cllr. Lee Chapman, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for Organisational Transformation and Digital Infrastructure
  • Contract 2 update – Openreach
  • Contract 3 update – Airband
  • Ofcom’s Broadband Safety Net to start in March 2020
  • 93% superfast broadband coverage in the Shropshire Council area
  • 5G update
  • Update from Shropshire Libraries

To view, please click on the following link:

Business broadband grant scheme coming to an end

April 10, 2019 / Leave a comment / Permalink

The Marches and Gloucestershire Broadband Grant scheme gives eligible businesses up to £25,000 to fund the capital costs of installing a superfast broadband connection. The Scheme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

If you run a business and are struggling to achieve the broadband connectivity you require, then you could be eligible for a grant.

To find out more, go to:

Registering for the grant is a simple and easy process, but all applications for the grant must be completed as soon as possible.

Case studies:

To find out how three Shropshire businesses have benefitted from the Grant Scheme, please click on the videos below:

Landscope engineering (business broadband provided by Secure Web Services):

Shropshire festivals:

Treflach farm:

Businesses can also benefit from further business support through the Marches Growth Hub and get access to free support from a Business Adviser. For more information, go to:

SWS Broadband update:

March 27, 2019 / Leave a comment / Permalink

Shropshire company, Secure Web Services (SWS), continue to build their fixed wireless broadband network to extend coverage in the south-west of Shropshire.  In total, SWS now provides access to broadband for over 40,000 properties in Shropshire and Powys.

In March 2019, SWS Broadband was awarded Gold Accreditation by UKWISPA, the official trade body of WISPs (Wireless Internet Service Providers) in the UK, see:

If you’re looking for an alternative broadband service and want to check if your property is in SWS’s coverage area, please contact them on 0333 7000 227 or email:

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