Wales-based rural broadband specialist Voneus has bolstered its team across several departments as it ramps up efforts to bring gigabit-capable broadband to hard-to-reach communities.
The government-recognised broadband provider delivers superfast and ultrafast broadband to hard-to-reach areas across 22 UK counties and acquired Cardigan-based Dyfed IT earlier this year, with all employees retained. Voneus is delivering network builds across Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Powys, which will provide speeds from 100Mbps to 1Gbps.
In the latest step in its expansion, and to better serve its local communities, the company has now relocated to bigger premises in Carmarthen and has recruited a community engagement team, with other roles, including in its sales and engineering teams, yet to be filled. Its new base is at the MacGregor Office Suite on Jolly Tar Lane, Carmarthen, and is said to be big enough to allow for further growth and expansion.
Three people have so far been brought into Voneus’ community engagement team, which will be headed up by Naomi Marshall (pictured above), a fluent Welsh speaker who has been in the industry for 15 years. Susan Pitcher and Adam Stockwell have also joined as community engagement executives. All have lived and worked in the region for at least 20 years, bringing local knowledge and understanding of the broadband requirements in the Welsh counties.
“The role of the community engagement team is absolutely critical to us,” said Zoe Day, head of community engagement at Voneus. “We know how important it is to embed ourselves in the communities we serve – we don’t want to be a faceless business that only builds and forgets about people. Our community engagement team will work closely with local residents and businesses to understand their wants and needs, as well as build relationships with key organisations including town councils and parish churches.”
Marshall, who previously worked for BT and EE, added: “At Voneus, we have a desire to rid rural areas of poor broadband speeds while providing wider benefits to the community. Being able to do just that for the community where I live and work, is fantastic. Voneus is on a mission to connect hard-to-reach communities, which often feel like they have been left behind, to the same broadband speeds experienced in the middle of a big city.
“People in these areas often can’t action simple tasks online, such as upload files as part of working from home or watch the latest show via a streaming service, due to slow speeds. We will change that, and we will be looking for more community engagement officers, as well as three more sales team members, a raft of engineers and admin support to follow, to help us achieve this.”
Read more about non-urban UK broadband
- Altnet Full Fibre reveals next series of ‘forgotten towns’ to benefit from its fibre-optic broadband infrastructure.
- Further financial support given to develop next-generation full-fibre network across rural regions in Ulster, particularly those that currently have the slowest speeds, such as Mid Ulster, Fermanagh and South Antrim.
- UK comms regulator Ofcom’s survey finds full-fibre networks are being built at a record rate, but work is still needed to get decent broadband to remote parts of the country.