Spotlight on Cornwall as Wildanet named the UK’s Best Rural Fibre Provider

Home-grown Cornish broadband provider Wildanet has beaten some of the biggest names in the business to win the coveted title of UK’s Best Rural Fibre Provider in one of the UK’s premier awards for the digital and telecoms industry.

The accolade at the UK Fibre Awards 2024 represents a huge achievement for Liskeard-based Wildanet, which was flying the flag for Cornwall against the toughest of national competition, including industry heavyweights such as Openreach and Gigaclear.

The UK Fibre Awards celebrate the very best in technology, projects, people, organisations, sustainability, culture and community initiatives from the UK's booming fibre, AltNet and carrier sectors.

The winners were announced at a gala event on Thursday 6 June, at the prestigious London Marriott Grosvenor Square Hotel, attended by more than 500 guests from across the industry.

Judges chose Wildanet as the UK’s Best Rural Fibre Provider after hearing how the company is transforming connectivity in Cornwall and Devon through its mission to roll-out high-speed broadband to hard-to-reach rural areas. This is bringing significant socio-economic benefits to communities and businesses, enabling them to be more sustainable, digitally connected and have easier access to essential online services.

Wildanet’s commitment to operating as a force for good, prioritising sustainability, ethical practices and social responsibility was also recognised, winning a second award for Best Sustainability Programme.

And the company also received a Highly Commended award in the Sales/Commercial Team of the Year category, recognising the efforts of Wildanet’s commercial team engaging with communities and helping consumers and businesses make the most of gigabit-capable broadband and digital connectivity solutions.

Helen Wylde -Archibald, Wildanet CEO, said: “As a company founded in Cornwall specifically to extend gigabit-enabled broadband to rural and hard-to-reach areas, to be named the UK’s Best Rural Fibre Provider in these leading industry awards was an incredibly special and very proud moment.

“It is fantastic to see Cornwall receiving national recognition for ambitious and innovative work taking place here in the technology sector. And it is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of our fantastic team and all of our many partners who are helping us to make a huge positive difference to homes, businesses and communities across Cornwall and Devon through the provision of our new gigabit-capable Full Fibre broadband network.”

Wildanet was founded in 2017 with a mission to extend high-speed broadband to hard-to-reach rural areas, bringing significant socio-economic benefits to communities and businesses, enabling them to be more sustainable, digitally connected and have easier access to essential online services.

The significant positive impact this is making for communities and families has been neatly summed up by Wildanet customer Ellen Morris, who described in a video case study the transformational effect of the new service for her family, who live in the village of Lanivet, in Mid Cornwall. Commenting on the new Full Fibre broadband service, she said:

“We were getting a 30 to 40Mbps service previously over copper wires but with Wildanet’s Full Fibre we’re now getting speeds of about 200Mbps. More than that, the new service is more reliable and also offers complete coverage within our home, whereas previously we were pretty much limited to the front room for good internet.

“It means we can use laptops, smart TV and streaming services in all parts of the house; we don’t have to worry about how many devices are connected either, it copes with it all brilliantly.”

In addition to the successful ongoing roll-out of its gigabit capable network in Cornwall and Devon, Wildanet has grown to become recognised regionally and nationally as a trusted and innovative business and community partner, thought leader and passionate advocate for digital inclusion.

In 2023, Wildanet launched a new centre of excellence in Cornwall – the Wildanet Technical Training Academy – providing industry-leading training for the next generation of telecommunication engineers and supporting the roll-out of high-speed broadband to thousands of people living and working in the region. The initiative, together with a ground-breaking new apprenticeship programme with Truro and Penwith College is a key commitment to delivering gigabit-capable Full Fibre broadband throughout Cornwall and Devon.

In January, Wildanet became the first UK AltNet (Alternative Network Provider) to become a Certified B Corporation, recognising its commitment to operating as a force for good, prioritising sustainability, ethical practices and social responsibility as part of its successful ‘profit with purpose’ approach to business.

Wildanet is the largest AltNet (Alternative Network Provider) in Cornwall. As well as being based in the county, Wildanet also employs 94% of its staff from Devon and Cornwall. Wildanet has plans to continue its expansion across the South West, serving rural and coastal communities with gigabit-capable broadband, and in doing so helping reduce digital exclusion across the region.

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