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Connectivity provider Wildanet cements its place as one of Cornwall’s fastest-growing businesses

Liskeard-based connectivity provider Wildanet is continuing to add to its impressive track record in the region, with a major inward investment and over 30 new jobs to come in 2021.

The company, which has been building a fixed wireless access network around Cornwall for the past four years, recently secured a £50 million investment from the Gresham House British Strategic Investment Infrastructure Fund. This sum builds greatly on Wildanet’s initial investment from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund, and will allow the team to both expand the wireless network and begin building a new fibre network. By 2023, the team plans to reach at least 45% of Cornwall’s total properties.

Wildanet is on the lookout for 32 new direct hires as well as approx. 48 indirect jobs, this year, more than doubling its headcount to keep up with its expanding operations. The available posts include technical and engineering positions along with sales and admin roles.

The company is rapidly becoming known for its dedication to supporting and upskilling its employees, with apprenticeships and targeted training in place – and it’s even putting some of its team through university.

Ian Calvert, Wildanet’s CEO, says: “At Wildanet, we’ve always worked with the mantra of ‘no one gets left behind’ – both for our people and our customers. We’re delighted with the new investment; it’s vital for helping us provide as many people as possible with a reliable high-speed internet connection.”

From its beginnings at Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station in 2017, Wildanet’s impact is already being felt across Cornwall, with over 70,000 premises currently within its wireless network. Where communities have had to rely on the existing copper phone lines to deliver broadband to their homes and premises, Wildanet’s network provides reliable, high-speed wireless internet.

For example: Newlyn Harbour is one of the busiest fishing ports in the UK. But limited bandwidth meant that the hundreds of crew members that came through with their catch couldn’t video call their families or sell their fish online while they were in the harbour. With Wildanet, almost 1,000 people can now do just that, all at once.

Joining Wildanet has been similarly impactful for Andy Bray, an award-winning dairy farmer from Helston. Andy can now upload data about his herd to Defra in just a few minutes – a task that could take as long as four hours with multiple refreshes through the legacy copper lines.

Wildanet’s growth means it’s now able to dedicate resources to some long-planned community projects, including providing free internet access for village halls and other local hubs throughout some of Cornwall’s hard-to-connect locations.

Ian says: “Digital exclusion is a real issue for Cornwall – especially in the most rural areas. As we continue to build out our network, we can now work with partners and other businesses to help bridge the digital divide and get everyone access to the information, services and support they need.”

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