Village internet is secured by buyout

THE future of a pioneering scheme bringing super fast broadband to a village near Sleaford looks secure again after the company behind the service went into administration.

Residents in Ashby de la Launde two years ago turned their ‘Not Spot’ into the latest word in fibreoptic broadband having previously struggled to get any sort of reliable internet service beyond dial-up.

The community dug their own trenches to bury fibreoptic cable which connected to a link under the water tower and used the village hall as the hub to achieve internet speeds of around 20MB/S.

The broadband has been maintained by a not for profit company called NextGenUs which also linked up residents in Digby and at the living quarters of RAF Digby via a wireless link.

After a troubled few months due to problems with another community broadband scheme in Cumbria, NextGenUs and another of its companies, Fibrestream, went into administration in April.

Ashby de la Launde parish council clerk and resident Val Smith said they had been enjoying fibreoptic broadband for nearly 18 months when they heard the news. “We were continuing to have broadband but the company was struggling and we didn’t hear anything definite until we heard Connexion had taken over.”

Customers have been able to relax now after a quick sale of the company was approved by the judge which put it into administration, meaning all networks and services will continue.

Connexion, a Cambridge-based internet phone company has bought the Ashby and Digby networks. It already provides the recommended home phone service for this network and will shortly be announcing expansion and upgrade plans for the network.

Mrs Smith said they had already noticed an improvement as they now get a 24 hour service line to call with problems. Villagers met with representatives of the new company at the village hall to discuss future arrangements. She said: “They seemed a good company with our interests at heart.”