Wireless the hope in digital disaster

An idaq transmitter covering Sheffield
An idaq transmitter covering Sheffield
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Who needs cables?

A Sheffield company claims it can fill the void left by the imminent switch off of Sheffield’s super-fast broadband disaster, Digital Region - with a wireless service.

idaq Networks of Attercliffe claims it can transmit to most of the city centre at speeds similar to the fibre optic flop.

The £150m Digital Region network which covers South Yorkshire will be switched off for good on August 14 after it attracted just 3,000 customers.

With no alternative in the city centre, it will leave hundreds of homes and businesses forced to drop down to ‘bog standard’ broadband - unless they pay £600-a-month for superfast cabling.

Now idaq claims it can offer a similar service at about half that cost.

Mike Hague, head of sales and marketing said: “The imminent withdrawal of Digital Region services has caused significant issues for many companies. In many cases, going back to ‘bog standard’ broadband is not only a backward step in technology, it’s also likely to have a negative impact on their ability to work effectively in the future.

“The launch of our ‘icnos’ uncontended wireless circuits, is designed to plug several holes in a marketplace where demand for bandwidth is outstripping the ability for traditional suppliers of fixed line services, to provide a product.”

The service was uncontended and offered guaranteed speeds. And it could be up and running in 10 working days, compared to 45 or more for a fibre service, he added.

Digital Region was set up by the four South Yorkshire Councils and Yorkshire Forward and cost £90m. The Government pulled the plug last year, shut down costs were another £60m.

Potential buyers of the network have been put off by a £27m loan which must be repaid to the European Union.

In recent weeks the councils have all been moving to alternative superfast services.

Eugene Walker of Sheffield Council said they had shifted to Virgin and expected all council buildings and schools across the city to have transferred by the August 14 deadline, ensuring “continuity of service.”