East Devon MP meets independent internet provider to discuss super-fast broadband coverage

By Francesca Evans

21st Jul 2023 | Local News

Simon Jupp (MP for East Devon), David Payne (head of network services, Wildanet), Helen Wylde (CEO, Wildanet) in Axminster
Simon Jupp (MP for East Devon), David Payne (head of network services, Wildanet), Helen Wylde (CEO, Wildanet) in Axminster

East Devon's MP Simon Jupp recently met with the CEO of Wildanet in Axminster, to discuss expanding super-fast broadband coverage ahead of a £50million boost for the South West-based company's rollout plans.

Speaking with CEO Helen Wylde and Wildanet's head of network services, David Payne, Mr Jupp raised his concerns over disconnected residents across the region, who have been suffering with poor internet.

The Great South West, a group seeking to boost investment across the region, is chaired by the East Devon MP in Westminster and has identified the lack of universal fast broadband as a barrier to further economic success across the four counties of Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Cornwall.

Wildanet, a fast-growing and independent internet provider, has been accelerating plans to extend the rollout of its full fibre gigabit broadband network, with the announcement of an additional £50million of private funding from sustainable infrastructure investment specialists Gresham House.

Following the meeting, Mr Jupp called for residents across East Devon struggling with a poor internet connection to contact him directly so he can provide further support.

He commented: "We all hate dodgy Wi-Fi. I understand how it impacts residents across Devon who suffer slow download and upload speeds. A fast and reliable internet connection is vital for everyday life and essential for so many local businesses.

"I raised my concerns over disconnected communities with the CEO of Wildanet, who has heard my campaign to boost broadband across the region and is rolling out fast, reliable internet across East Devon whilst creating new jobs in the process."

Helen Wylde, CEO of Wildanet, commented: "It was a pleasure to welcome Simon Jupp MP to Axminster to show how we install and roll-out full fibre broadband across Devon. We discussed how communities in Devon have been without adequate coverage for too long.

"Wildanet's commitment to Devon is genuine and work is already underway to connect tens of thousands of properties across the county to gigabit-capable broadband.

"Wildanet has received an additional £50 million of investment from Gresham House to accelerate our roll-out in Devon, bringing total investment from government and the private sector to over £100 million. This reflects our commitment to remote communities who, to date, have not been able to benefit from fast broadband connectivity that most of us take for granted."

Mr Jupp is not the MP for Axminster, which falls into the Tiverton & Honiton constituency, represented by Liberal Democrat Richard Foord.

Mr Jupp currently represents the Conservatives in the neighbouring constituency of East Devon, but has announced he will stand for the new Honiton & Sidmouth constituency, which will include Axminster, at the next General Election.


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