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Kloud9 aims to transform connectivity with full-fibre

Broadband roll-out by altnet said to mark a new era of digital connectivity for people in rural Shropshire by enabling access to high-speed internet

Homes and businesses in remote areas of Shropshire can now access gigabit broadband as a result of a collaborative effort between altnet Kloud9, the UK government and the county council’s Connecting Shropshire programme.

The broadband provider said the initiative marks a new era of digital connectivity for rural Shropshire. Kloud9 began the project in August 2023, aiming to ensure the community’s inclusion in terms of advanced broadband infrastructure. Residents and businesses in Ditton Priors can now enjoy the benefits of gigabit broadband, with commercial establishments in the village said to be able to access unprecedented internet speeds.

Kloud9’s efforts in Ditton Priors are part of a broader commitment to advancing digital connectivity across Shropshire and the UK. With a number of projects in the pipeline, Kloud9 said it was excited to continue its work in Shropshire and beyond. Kloud9 has completed similar projects in Cleehill and Cressage and is working on four more builds in the area.

“Gigabit broadband has become a necessity rather than a luxury. Rural villages like Ditton Priors are in real danger of being left in the broadband dark ages. It was a pleasure to work so closely with the community,” said Julie Bushell, Kloud9’s community engagement manager.

The project was completed in just a few months, with most residents connected in time for Christmas 2023. Alex Jackson, CEO of Kloud9 parent AJ Technology, expressed pride in the team’s achievements and said engaging with the community and delivering a robust network in time for Christmas was immensely rewarding.

The project was made possible in part by the government’s long-running Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, which aims to connect businesses and residents in some of the hardest-to-reach places in the UK to gigabit-capable broadband.

Robert Macey, portfolio holder for culture and digital at Shropshire Council, said: “I’m really pleased that AJ Technology has benefited from Shropshire Council top-up funding of [the government’s] Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme. This additional funding has enabled AJ Technology to work at pace to install their full-fibre broadband network in some of Shropshire’s more rural communities, bringing them into the digital fast lane.”

The aim of Connecting Shropshire is to achieve equitable broadband coverage for premises in Shropshire. From 2013 to 2023 the programme has seen an increase in superfast broadband coverage – over 30Mbps – from 24% to just over 98% of premises in the Shropshire Council area.

Connecting Shropshire also works with the government’s Project Gigabit scheme that was introduced in 2021 to accelerate the UK’s recovery from Covid-19, fire up high-growth sectors such as tech and the creative industries, and level up the country, spreading wealth and creating jobs across Britain. On its launch, the government said it would prioritise areas with slow connections that would otherwise be left behind in commercial broadband companies’ plans.

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