A possible gain of £1 billion by 2030 through Gigabit-capable broadband has been projected for Devon by fibre builder Wildanet, which has just commenced its expansion into the county. Commissioned by Wildanet, a report from policy institute Curia made this financial forecast. Underselling the Gigabit broadband in comparison to the rest of the UK, the report analyzes Devon’s condition, while revealing Wildanet’s entrance into the county.

It’s worth mentioning, however, that Curia’s projections depend on universally accessible Gigabit broadband by 2030 with widespread availability by 2025, while Wildanet is only planning to reach 25,000 residences and businesses in its initial phase of deployment.

That doesn’t discount Wildanet’s mission to bridge the digital divide in rural and challenging locations, not merely aiming to cover the entire county independently. Managing to connect over 60,000 wireless connections across Devon and Cornwall, the firm plans to add beyond 50,000 more service-ready rural establishments by 2023’s close.

In May, Wildanet declared its move from native Cornwall into Devon, already establishing fibre connections in the town of Totnes months prior. As the firm aims towards its initial phase’s goal, it is deploying resources in 15 parts of Devon and has inaugurated an office along with a logistics centre in Bideford.

Funding from alternative asset manager Gresham House would boost the firm’s efforts for fibre deployment in Devon and Cornwall. “This latest investment will allow Wildanet to bring forward the timing of its current rollout plans and target new areas across both counties, including some of the most challenging, remote locations bypassed in previous rollouts by major telecoms operators,” Wildanet CEO Helen Wylde explained.

Two Project Gigabit contracts from BDUK, a UK government entity, worth an estimated £36 million were also received earlier by Wildanet. Combining the two contracts into one full fibre gigabit-capable broadband, it will serve two areas of Cornwall reaching nearly 19,250 establishments.

The newly-injected funds from Gresham House could potentially expedite the rollout by up to five years, thereby enhancing digital inclusion efforts. This is particularly beneficial for Devon where only 54% of inhabitants have access to gigabit speed broadband, drastically under the national 75%. Consequently, there remain as many as 78,000 people in Devon who have never used the internet.

“While this report is specific to Devon, there are clearly implications for the provision of high-speed broadband nationally,” stated Wylde.