A COUNTY firm providing broadband to rural and hard to reach areas has brought in a new board member to add to 40 new hires this year.

Airband, which is based in John Comyn Drive, has appointed Jeffrey Kriek as chief financial officer, joining from telecoms infrastructure company Helios Towers. Mr Kriek brings with him more than 20 years experience working in banking and finance, having worked with RBS and ABN Amro prior to Helios Towers advising telecoms companies on strategy and fundraising.

Redmond Peel, founder and director of Airband, said: "We’re privileged to have Jeffrey on board as the new CFO of Airband. He brings strong operational and strategic finance experience to the role and his great track record and telecoms experience will help us secure investment that can fast-track Airband to the next stage.

"Ultrafast broadband has become mainstream and we have a short window of opportunity to consolidate our position as a market leader in the rural fibre broadband market.

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"Our rural expertise and history of being trusted by government partners and other stakeholders is the perfect foundation for success as we hyper-scale in order to deliver better broadband to as many areas as possible.

"Jeffrey’s extensive experience in raising debt and equity capital, is perfect for what we are trying to achieve, and I’m very much looking forward to working with him through one of the most exciting and challenging periods in the history of the telecoms industry." 

The announcement follows Airband’s appointment in February 2020 as a network partner for the West Mercia 5G project - one of seven rural 5G projects across the UK to secure DCMS funding.   

Mr Kriek said: "I’m thrilled to join Airband at this exciting point in its journey. An ongoing investment programme from Amber Infrastructure has already enabled Airband to fast-track innovative new developments. Going forwards, securing further funding will enable us to invest in our operations and in an ambitious recruitment drive, giving us even greater capacity to deploy fibre networks at speed and significantly increase our market presence - notably in rural areas." Mr Peel also paid credit to Airband finance director, Andrew Price, saying: “We’re grateful to Andrew for his vision and drive and for his contribution to the success of Airband during his time with us and we wish him all the very best in his future endeavours.”