Rutland was one of the first areas to announce BT as its BDUK project partner, but that is not the end of the broadband story in the area, as Uppingham First has continued to press ahead with its plans for a 30m high wireless broadband mast.
Planning permission had already been granted for the erection of the mast to the south of Welland Vale Nursery, which is located just to the east of Uppingham. The original plan had been to EEC funding to fund the project, but that fell through and a new application has resulted in half of the money needed to erect the mast coming via DEFRA, the full amount needed is £360,000. This award is part of the £20m of funding for rural broadband solutions to cover that final few percentage points of an area where more commercial solutions via the BDUK projects will not reach.
The mast should help provide a fixed wireless broadband solution to rural properties (a potential radius of 25 miles is suggested), and may also prove to be a good location for mounting 4G antenna to improve mobile coverage in the area once 4G starts its march towards the 98% coverage target.