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Voneus Switches on Superfast broadband in Somerset villages of Wanstrow and Batcombe

Voneus, the rural broadband specialist, today announced that its Superfast broadband services – offering speeds of 30-50 Mbps – are now available to homes and businesses in the Somerset village of Wanstrow, with services to the neighbouring village of Batcombe going live at the end of June. Residents signing up for the service will get their installation and broadband router for free, while NHS workers and those signing up for a two-year contract will also receive the first three months of their service completely free-of-charge.

Suffering with speeds as low as 2Mbps, the two communities have spent the past four years fighting for a decent broadband connection. Their remote locations, on either side of a valley, presented challenging geographical and topographical problems, with the result that many ISPs were simply unable to help. Voneus specialises in providing connectivity for difficult to reach areas and, once again, the company has stepped up to the plate with a Superfast solution.

Now the two communities – which comprise over 400 homes – will have access to Superfast broadband speeds, transforming the way residents live and work, helping families to connect more easily with loved ones, and enabling residents to work effectively from home during this prolonged period of remote working.

This is down to Voneus’s innovative network planning. In just a few months, the specialist rural broadband provider was able to build a Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) network to connect the areas to an existing fibre network at the nearby village of Trudoxhill. From there, Superfast broadband is beamed across the countryside to discreet, environmentally-sensitive antennas on seven different host sites in the area, which, in turn, transmit broadband directly to small and unobtrusive receivers on the villagers’ homes.

Many of the host sites are farms, which have been in desperate need of faster internet connections themselves, not only to work more efficiently and competitively, but also to support vital tasks such as computerised feeds for livestock. Voneus is also providing the village halls in both Wanstrow and Batcombe with a free connection, creating a central hub in each village to help keep everyone in the communities connected.

“After four years of constant disappointments we are all ecstatic that we can now do the things that the rest of the country has long taken for granted – such as watch BBC iPlayer or chat with our families on Zoom,” said Bob Sargent, local parish councillor and Wanstrow’s Broadband Champion. “There are also many small businesses in our communities that have been really struggling with poor broadband speeds, but that have now been able to develop their customer base and compete effectively. Voneus has been professional and open with us the whole way through the process of designing and building our network, and has delivered on everything they promised from the start.”

“We had to get our thinking caps on with this project, but it’s all come together perfectly and I’m so glad we could play a part in making this a happy ending for residents of the area,” said Adam Goodman, project manager, Voneus. “I’d also like to say a special thank you to those residents who have been so helpful and accommodating in making this network happen, we couldn’t have done it without them.”

“It is extremely gratifying to see that Wanstrow and Batcombe will finally be able to access the broadband speeds they deserve,” said Steve Leighton, CEO at Voneus. “And with another tailor-made solution, we have demonstrated that our business model and creative solutions-led approach really work for hard-to-reach communities.”

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