A WORCESTER-based rural broadband specialist has announced two new senior appointments.

Airband, which provides broadband to rural communities, has hired Steve Holford as commercial director and Ian Robinson, who joins from EE to head up a new government-funded healthcare research and development project.

Both are industry veterans with decades of experience and knowledge, with Steve Holford bringing more than two decades of IT and telecoms experience to the commercial director role.

He joins Airband from Hyperoptic, where he was director of operations and previously headed up Hyperoptic’s customer experience.

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Prior to that, he held manager and director-level positions at e-commerce specialist UK2 Group and telecoms and mobile giant Virgin.

Ian Robinson has been appointed Airband’s senior project manager and will be leading Airband’s partnership in a West Mercia health research and development project aimed at transforming rural healthcare.

With more than 20 years’ experience managing projects and stakeholder relationships within the telecoms industry, Ian joins Airband from EE where he was a senior project manager.

Redmond Peel, Airband founder and director, said: “We are really pleased to welcome Steve and Ian to Airband, particularly at such an exciting time for our business as we create a business model that can meet the demand for better broadband in the UK’s rural areas.

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"Covid-19 has demonstrated how essential connectivity is for all communities – but especially for rural communities and we are determined to increase our capacity and streamline our deployment so we can help as many people as possible enjoy the connectivity they need."

Steve Holford said he was delighted to be joining Airband at such an exciting time. “We have a tremendous opportunity to grow further and consolidate Airband’s reputation as a rural broadband specialist.

"It’s refreshing to be part of a mission to empower rural communities by helping them access the kind of connectivity that transforms both home and business.”