Preston takes first steps towards gigabit internet

Lancashire broadband network IX Wireless has begun the roll-out of Preston’s new ultra-fast internet, with the centre and east of the town first to benefit from the new infrastructure.

Phase 1 of the roll-out will cover approximately 1.5 square miles in the centre of Preston, between Blackpool Road in the north and Tulketh Road in the west, reaching Ring Way and the A6 in the centre of town. In addition, houses on both sides of Ribbleton Lane and New Hall Lane will also enjoy access to the new network.

Workmen will begin installing the network on Great Townley Street and Great Shaw Street, with some houses and businesses in the area able to connect immediately. In total, more than 6,000 premises are set to benefit from Phase 1 of the new wireless broadband by October 2019.

IX Wireless plans to complete the majority of work within the next five months, with its partner 6G Internet responsible for delivering internet services to residents and businesses.

The work is part of plans to make Preston one of the UK’s first ‘gigabit-capable’ towns, meaning residents will soon be able to access internet speeds of more than 1,000 Mbps as standard, increasing to 6,000 Mbps by 2025.

The installation of the IX Wireless network marks the first time ultra-fast speeds will be available to a town without the months of roadworks and disruption associated with laying fibre-optic cable in the ground.

Instead, users will simply be able to install a small receiver on their building which will pick up the broadband signal via radio wave, broadcast at the speed of light by IX Wireless’s transmitters.

Neil Knighton, communications manager for IX Wireless, said: “This is an exciting first step for both IX Wireless and Preston in creating one of the UK’s first truly gigabit-capable towns. We are continuing to work closely with local communities to ensure minimal disruption. If any residents have concerns or questions about work on their street, they can call our helpline on 01254 405 000.”