Lancashire takes first steps towards gigabit internet

Lancashire broadband network IX Wireless has begun the roll-out of new ultra-fast internet in a number of towns throughout the county, following the success of its initial launch in Blackburn in June.

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

Phase 1 of the roll-out will cover parts of Hyndburn, Preston and Blackburn, with other areas set to follow soon.

Accrington will be covered across approximately half a square mile between Queen’s Road in the north and Askrigg Close and Pinewood Drive in the East, down to Nelson St and Wellington St in the south.

Around 1.5 square miles in the centre of Preston will also be covered, 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.

In Blackburn, the roll-out already covers 1.5 square miles between the A6119 in the north and the A677 in the west, down to the A674 from Wilton Park to Barton Street and the B6232 in the centre of town.

More than 12,000 premises are set to benefit from Phase 1 of the new wireless broadband network by October 2019, with IX Wireless’ partner 6G Internet responsible for delivering internet services to residents and businesses.

The installation marks the first time ultra-fast speeds will be available to the towns 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 Lancashire in creating some 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.”