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Gigaclear Scoop Final Devon and Somerset “Full Fibre” Broadband Contract

Thursday, July 13th, 2017 (2:29 pm) by Mark Jackson (Score 589)
gigaclear fibre optic engineer and box

Ultrafast “full fibre” broadband ISP Gigaclear has won the final Lot 1 contract (Upper CDS) of the Connecting Devon and Somerset project, which will see £10.3m being invested to deploy a 1Gbps Fibre-to-the-Premise (FTTP/H) network to 6,500 rural premises around Bath and North Somerset.

According to the press release, some £7.8 million will be contributed by Gigaclear itself and the rest is public investment. The deal means that Gigaclear has now won both today’s £10.3m Phase 2 contract for Lot 1 and the £62.25m contract for Lots 2 (North Coast), 3 (Eastern), 5 (Exm2sea) and 6 (South Moor) – Details.

devon and somerset airband gigaclear contracts

Elsewhere fixed wireless ISP Airband recently won Lot 4 (Northern, Central and West Devon) of the CDS project as part of a £7m contract (here), which is on top of their existing £4.6m deal (here) to deploy “superfast broadband” to 5,800 premises in the Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks. The CDS team can now focus on deployment.

Cllr Paul Myers, Bath & North East Somerset Council, said:

“Excellent broadband infrastructure is essential for our economy to remain competitive. This is good news as it will give our businesses access to some of the fastest broadband speeds available and the ability to trade without boundaries. For our residents, it means the whole family can get on-line to take advantage of all that the internet has to offer.”

Joe Frost, Gigaclear’s Business Development Director, said:

“We’re delighted to win this contract to build this completely new, full fibre broadband network in North Somerset and Bath & North East Somerset. It will be socially and economically transformative, delivering speeds up to 33 times faster than the UK average and crucially for business the upload speeds are just as fast.”

So far 320,000 homes and businesses across Devon, Somerset, Bath & North East Somerset and North Somerset now have access to faster broadband as a result of CDS scheme. Around 94% of Devon and Somerset can now be reached by a “fibre” (FTTC/P/DOCSIS) based broadband network, although “superfast broadband” speeds of 30Mbps+ are only estimated to be available to 86% of local homes and businesses.

We understand that once the current contracts complete (December 2019) the total number of premises passed by the project should have hit “at least” 380,000. The total CDS budget to date is £171 million and further investments are planned including public funding returned by BT under a gainshare agreement when take-up of the new broadband service passes 20%. So far 36% of households and businesses in the CDS region have already taken up fibre broadband.

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5 Responses
  1. TheFacts

    Where does this leave Truespeed?

    • The current contract still isn’t going to deliver universal coverage, so there are plenty of locations for TrueSpeed to focus on. However they do appear to be heading for an overbuild conflict in some locations, although this might be more of a problem (politically speaking) for the side that is using public money as it’s wasteful.

      The public investment could be used elsewhere in the two counties.

    • PaulM

      MarkJ hows this leave your neck of the woods? Are you still stuck in the middle of an unappealing filling in a Gigaclear and Cityfibre sandwich? The S/SW of the country now has some great options but slithers seem to miss out 🙁 Red tape of darn council regions.

    • At present I’m on a semi-holiday in Scotland, where we’re lucky to get 2Mbps via the local WiFi and Mobile is rarely 3G. Back home down south I live near the centre of a big town and so now get top FTTC speeds, prior to that I was in a rural location where neither Cityfibre nor Gigaclear have ventured (we did have Wessex Internet though).

  2. Matt

    Glad that even though they have had to wait they are going get true Fibre. far better than if BT had done it for a lot of the premises.

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