Springwatch helps bring wireless broadband to rural Suffolk

Andrew Blois and Jake Barton of Rade Systems.

Andrew Blois and Jake Barton of Rade Systems. - Credit: Archant

When Springwatch moved to Minsmere last year for the first of three seasons in Suffolk, it wasn’t just tourists it brought to the coast – it’s helped to stimulate a broadband revolution.

Now homes and businesses in the relatively-remote coastal strip are able to access wireless broadband bring speeds of up to 50MBpS well in advance of the arrival of the Better Broadband for Suffolk campaign in the area.

The service is being provided by Rade Systems, based at Hinton Lodge between Dunwich and Blythburgh – and the arrival of the BBC teams spurred them on to bring wireless broadband to the area.

The company has been based at Hinton for the last 20 years providing IT solutions and designing websites for a number of clients.

However Jake Barton from Rade Systems said it had reached the position where it was having to consider re-locating because of the poor broadband connections.

He said: “We were in a difficult position because it would be almost impossible to find anyone else to move in here because of the need for broadband.”

Last year the company was asked to help with the Springwatch production and realised it had to find another solution.

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It set up the mast for wireless broadband which can now reach an area from Leiston to south Lowestoft and inland as far as Blythburgh.

It is hoping to expand its coverage to Aldeburgh and Thorpeness – and to close some of the blackspots that still exist.

It has now started marketing its wireless broadband coverage to businesses and residential customers from between 20MBpS to 50MBpS.

Mr Barton said that while the Better Broadband for Suffolk programme might eventually reach the area, some people were unhappy about the prospect of waiting for years when they needed it for their business or their homes now.

He said: “We have people who need broadband for their business or whose children need broadband to be able to do their homework. We can provide a good service now.”

There is no real limit to the technology – its power can be increased when needed – but it does need a near line of sight from the transmitter to the property.

This can mean there are problems if a property has trees nearby – although the company is hoping to boost signals with extra transmitters to try to eliminate these issues.