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BBC – Exmoor and Dartmoor’s new broadband partner is Airband

Superfast broadband is to be delivered across Exmoor and Dartmoor by Airband, the regional project team has revealed.

Connecting Devon and Somerset says radio signals will be used to deliver broadband across the hilly, wooded terrains common to both national parks.

Airband has previously delivered wireless broadband in the Welsh hills, which have a similar landscape.

The partnership has said this technology would help bring a £750m economic boost to the region.

Both the Exmoor and Dartmoor park authorities have welcomed the announcement. Chief executive of Dartmoor National Park, Peter Harper, said the technology “worked with the unique nature of Dartmoor”.

Wireless broadband works by using a radio signal in place of fibre optic cables. The radio signal is then passed using a network of masts, with a small transmitter attached to the final building.

‘Low visual impact’

A cable is then used to take the connection into the building so the user can connect to the internet via fibre or ADSL.

All homes and businesses in Exmoor and Dartmoor are due to get wireless broadband by the end of 2016.

Airband’s managing director Redmond Peel said: “We have to set up a number of stations in order to establish line of sight to the properties in order to reach them, so some quite detailed surveys have been done.

“We’ve been working with the council and the planning departments to make sure the impact is very low visually.”

The national parks’ broadband delivery is a contract separate to the wider roll-out of broadband to rural areas in Devon and Somerset.

Phase One of the wider roll-out is being delivered by BT.

But the partner for the second phase is still being decided by Connecting Devon and Somerset, which recently announced it would not use BT.

It's fantastic to have proper high speed internet at last! John and the rest of the install team were great, please pass along my thanks.

- Andrew Green, Powys