Commsworld forms new partnership with Northumberland rural broadband expert Alncom

Commsworld forms new partnership with
Northumberland rural broadband expert Alncom

Commsworld, the UK’s largest independent network provider, is partnering up with rural broadband expert Alncom to transform digital networks and infrastructure throughout Northumberland.

The Edinburgh-headquartered company is joining forces with Alnwick-based Alncom to give businesses and organisations in the remotest parts of the county the chance to enjoy significantly enhanced broadband connectivity, bandwidth and resilience.

This would be achieved by giving them access to Commsworld’s nationwide Optical Core network, with connections to superfast 10 Gigabit connectivity directly to their premises.

Managing Director of Alncom, Stephen Pinchen, said: “This is a significant development for Alncom.  Northumberland is home to remote communities with the highest volume of cottage and ‘table-top’ industries in the UK.  It’s a transformative move, literally life changing for our customers and will really help bridge the digital divide.”

Commsworld has built a huge track record of success in radically modernising public sector networks. Recent achievements include replacing the rural Scottish Borders’ outdated network infrastructure, boosting not only the local economy but also its educational services by turning its secondary schools into hi-tech hubs of learning.

Last year it completed the build of its full-fibre internet connectivity to rural towns and villages in Renfrewshire in record time as part of infrastructure being delivered through a £15m Connectivity as a Service framework contract signed with Renfrewshire Council. This gave businesses in desperate need of quality, cost-effective Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) access to up to 10 Gigabit connectivity.

In 2021 Commsworld made history by becoming the first network operator to be on every one of the UK’s eight internet exchanges when it joined NCL-IX, a new interconnection point for data transfer from the USA to Northern Europe in the North East of England, at Newcastle’s Stellium Datacentre.

Meanwhile, Alncom has rapidly developed its footprint not only across Northumberland but also North East England throughout 2021 after securing private investment from Railsite Telecom and funding from the UK’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme to revolutionise broadband across its service area, strengthening Alncom’s position as a rural broadband leader.  

Faced with frequent logistical challenges in some of the country’s most inhospitable areas, Pinchen and his team have developed a ‘get it done’ approach, going above and beyond to connect even the most challenging of remote rural locations.

Alncom has built a Gigabit-ready, full-fibre network and partnered with US tech firm Adtran to complete the project. Stephen Pinchen continued: “This new partnership with Commsworld will further enhance its access to further full-fibre networks across Northumberland and the North East of England.”

Bruce Strang, Commsworld’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We are delighted to be partnering up with Alncom. Much like us, Alncom is growing at a phenomenal rate, continuing to expand its footprint through organic and inorganic growth, and enhancing its customer offerings.

“Our partnership will result in a step change in the delivery of digital services to the harder-to-reach rural areas. We have the largest privately-funded Optical Core network in the UK with the capability to provide a reliable, high-speed network that is affordable to all those in need of it, no matter where they are geographically.

“As a result, we can provide the flexibility to layer on the latest products that can deliver real value and outcomes to customers in both the public and private sector. Working together we can create a dynamic, modern, robust and resilient digital network for Northumberland and beyond.”

ABOUT COMMSWORLD

Founded in 1994, Edinburgh-headquartered Commsworld is the operator of the largest privately-owned network in the UK, propelling it towards the top of the UK’s provider rankings. As well as Edinburgh, it has offices in Glasgow and Aberdeen with more than 100 staff operating across public and private sector contracts.

Commsworld supports thousands of the UK’s leading organisations, both in public and private sectors with their telecommunications. It has grown rapidly in recent years, fuelled by its involvement with four of Scotland’s largest public sector ICT contracts, with local authorities in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Renfrewshire, and the Scottish Borders.

Commsworld has been ranked at No23 in the 21st annual Sunday Times Profit Track league table. The Profit Track ranks Britain’s private companies with the fastest-growing profits over the past three years. You can view the league table here

Commsworld was recently placed 27th in the list of top 50 privately-owned tech companies in the UK at the Megabuyte 50 Awards. The annual awards recognise the performance of technology companies across the UK, taking into account their growth, profitability, cash conversion, and size – decided by an independent body of adjudicators.

Commsworld has also been listed on the lucrative G-Cloud 12 UK government telecoms and network framework for the fourth year running. Since its inception, there has been £6.2bn worth of sales through the G-Cloud framework, with the majority of the business coming from the UK government. Around 44% of that spend has been awarded to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Counting over a third of their staff as former armed forces personnel, it’s a pledge that is close to the company’s heart.

Staff with an armed forces background include Andy Maylett (Royal Corps of Signals), John Parker (4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards), Tim Bendix (Coldstream Guards), Tony Hadfield (Royal Artillery) Ryan Thompson (Royal Engineers), Elliot Baird (Royal Navy) and John Grieve (RAF Regiment).

An Armed Forces Covenant is a written and publicised voluntary pledge from businesses and charitable organisations who wish to demonstrate their support for the armed forces community.

Alncom will now be eligible for a Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Bronze award.

There are Bronze, Silver and Gold awards for organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to the armed forces community.

North East rural broadband experts Alncom, who are based in Alnwick, Northumberland have received a boost of funding from strategic investors and telecom experts Railsite Telecom.  The partnership will rapidly develop Alncom’s footprint in rural broadband across the region and is a real success story for the local community, with increased investment and jobs.

The Village of Ingram was originally part of a community fibre project and then, after completing the two villages at the start of the project, Ingram was de-scoped and left with no hope of recieving fibre broadband!


This beautiful part of the county, with a wide mix of residential properties and business’s, suffered from slow broadband speeds and, as a direct result of our sales team’s efforts, Alncom were asked to be involved. It was not just the farming community that were suffering though. This area is also home to an eclectic mix of businesses from Bed & Breakfasts to a home crafting supplier and even a Milliners!

Half of the village of Ellingham has Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) connections but, as is so typical in rural areas, the other half, and most of the surrounding area, had to rely on antiquated copper connections resulting in painfully slow broadband speed.

In the summer of 2019, Catherine and Stephen learned of a government scheme to support installation costs for gigabit-capable broadband in rural areas through the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme (GBVS) and were able to approach Alncom to access the funding. Gigabit-capable broadband was installed along the valley through a hybrid system of full fibre and wireless connections.

Today, data breaches are more common than ever. A data breach is a leak of sensitive or confidential information, whether intentional or unintentional. It is almost a guarantee that at least one of your passwords, past or present, has been exposed by a data breach.

When passwords are exposed, hackers can buy them for a small sum, giving them unlimited access to your accounts and sensitive information. And, if you’ve used that password for multiple online accounts, bad guys could access those accounts too. So, if you’re still using your old MySpace password for your Facebook account, change that password immediately!

Here are some tips to keep in mind when creating new passwords:

  • Make your passwords complex
    • Complex passwords use at least eight characters with a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.
      • Example: a3D$8k0*
  • Use passphrases
    • Passphrases are a phrase or sentence. Don’t use the lyrics of your favorite song or a quote from a book! Make it unique but make it something you can remember.
      • Example: Pa$$wordSafety1sC0ol
  • Use a password generator
    • Password creators such as Keeper Security and LastPass can generate passwords for you.
  • Don’t use variations of your old passwords
    • Hackers know that untrained users will do this, so they use automated tools to figure out these variations.
      • As a simple example, if your password is “Password”, don’t make it “Password1”. Hopefully, none of your passwords are actually “Password”!

Whether or not you’re sure that your password has been exposed, make the safe choice and make all of your passwords unique. Not sure how to keep track of all of these unique passwords? Ask us what we would recommend.

Awesome day at the Powburn Show on Saturday. Great to meet so many customers and hear stories of how our rural broadband is changing lives. Plus welcoming new customers who’ll be getting Alncom broadband very soon. If you (or someone you know) could benefit from Ultrafast rural broadband, please get in touch and we will arrange a free survey.

A state-of-the-art CCTV system has been installed across the Morpeth town area.

The town council, with support from partners, has used the latest 4K UHD technology for the camreas, which record at up to 10 times the resolution of HD.

Preparation for the initiative began in 2018 when the council worked with Northumbria Police and the Morpeth Chamber of Trade, which contributed £2,500 towards the project.

Camera locations were decided following a review of a crime pattern analysis and in consultation with partner agencies.

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