There is a new name for fibre optic broadband on the Island. Wightcable, which has been serving homes and businesses since 2001, has changed its name to WightFibre. The move is in preparation for the launch of superfast fibre optic broadband and new high definition TV services on the Isle of Wight.
The Cowes-based company, which employs 30 staff, has benefited from a £0.4m programme of technology upgrades for the fibre optic network. WightFibre’s new Chief Executive Officer, John Irvine, who joined the company in February, said: “It is a little known fact that the Isle of Wight already has its very own fibre optic network. A lack of investment in recent years means this network has not quite kept pace with developments in the rest of the UK but it remains the fastest broadband available on the Island today. WightFibre is still the only fibre optic broadband network on the Island.”
Irvine added: “Meeting with local authority leaders and business leaders on the Island, I have heard regular reference to the digital Island and the need for the Isle of Wight to be connected. This is both to keep the Isle of Wight as an attractive place to live but also to enable island based businesses to remain competitive with companies elsewhere in the UK. Today’s WightFibre network runs at speeds of over double the UK average. After this upgrade, speeds will jump to 5 to 8 times the UK average.”
WightFibre plans to include more rural areas of the island in this initiative with the deployment of high speed wireless capability to provide similar services throughout the island, not just in towns and villages.
David Pugh, Leader of the Isle of Wight Council, welcomed WightFibre’s announcement. He said: “I am pleased to hear of WightFibre’s latest investment. It is always good to hear of a local company taking the lead in deploying new technology to the Island. Superfast broadband is important to ensure the Island remains a great place to both live and work and I look forward to hearing further about WightFibre’s plans to provide broadband in more rural areas.”