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A Bit of History

It all started back in 2002 when four blokes were having a drink in a pub and complaining about the state of their Internet connections. They all had dial-up modems and had to cope with speeds of about 30 kbit/s (that's kilobits, not megabits!). We had asked BT when it might provide a high-speed service in Woodcote; the answer was that BT could see no business case to provide such a service in the area. We decided that, between us, we had the skills to set up and run a radio-based system. One of us had a cigarette packet so we worked out whether it made business sense. It did and we put some money in the kitty, bought some equipment and set up the company. We were very grateful to Thames Water for allowing us to use the local radio tower. It wasn't free but it was a good deal.

We put the word around and we received about 50 orders in the first few weeks! We managed to connect them and more orders came in. At about this point BT changed its mind and announced that it would, after all, offer ADSL services in Woodcote! This was a bit of a blow because they could offer faster connections than we could. Our original Internet connection ran at 2 Mbit/s and cost about £10k per year!

Gradually, many of our customers changed to BT and we wondered what we should do about it. It soon became clear that our market was not in Woodcote itself but in the surrounding countryside where phone lines were too long for BT's style of connection. We easily replaced the customers we had lost and found particular favour with farmers who always seem to have very long drives to the farmhouse. There are still many rural locations where the copper-based services are poor or non-existent.

Those original four were Christopher Quinton, Mike Thornton, Ben Allwright and Bill Pechey. Sadly, we lost Christopher to cancer in 2014; the others bought his shareholding and carried on. Since then, Mike has retired and Andy Tanner has joined the company taking Mike's place as a director. Andy has many years of experience in telecomms and data systems. He also runs a wireless ISP in the Sulhamstead area.