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UPDATE Gigaclear Plan 1Gbps Fibre Optic Broadband for Rural North Yorkshire

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015 (8:11 am) - Score 1,316

Rural focused ISP Gigaclear has announced their first expansion into Yorkshire (Northern England) by revealing plans to deploy their ultrafast 1000Mbps (Megabits per second) capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH/P) based broadband network into the villages of Cononley and Carleton, with more to follow.

Both villages are known to have a population of around 1,000 each and so are far from being tiny. On top of that they’re also both connected to Telephone Exchanges in Skipton and Cross Hills, which have already been upgraded to support BT’s latest 21CN and superfast FTTC and even FTTP broadband technologies.

Matthew Hare, CEO of Gigaclear, said:

The passion and enthusiasm of the community and its champions has drawn us to Cononley and Carleton. We are proud to add North Yorkshire to the counties which will have access to the fastest broadband in the country. Our ultrafast download and upload speeds, coupled with a dedicated fibre connection to every home and business will transform the online experience for these North Yorkshire residents and businesses.

Pure fibre broadband will give them the same or better work, play and entertainment capabilities as those who live in the most modern cities, meaning the best of both worlds: a truly beautiful rural environment and ultrafast, ultra-modern communications.”

A Local Cononley Resident and Broadband Campaigner said:

We are thrilled that Gigaclear is looking to invest in our communities. For several years we have tried to get an improved service from other providers and now it seems with Gigaclear we will end up with the best broadband in the country. This will transform my ability to work from home, meaning reduced commuting and more time spent locally enjoying our fabulous rural environment.”

A quick check of several parts of Cononley showed that FTTC with good speeds should already be available to some from Cabinet 12, although we haven’t tested the whole village and there may be pockets that have yet to benefit. A big part of the village is also largely covered by the local Superfast North Yorkshire (SNY) project with BT.

By comparison Carleton (Cabinet 14) doesn’t appear to benefit from FTTC and struggles to deliver ADSL2+ speeds of more than 4Mbps, which makes it a more logical choice. The village also appears to sit outside of the current SNY deployment for superfast (24Mbps+) connectivity with BT. So Carleton makes sense and we’ll query the Cononley situation with Gigaclear to find out precisely what the plan is.

At the time of writing it’s unclear from Gigaclear’s press release whether this “plan” has a timescale or is merely in the interest gathering stage. It’s worth pointing out that the Chair of the SNY Advisory Board has also given the project his blessing, so the local BDUK scheme is clearly aware.

UPDATE 12:08pm

A closer inspection has revealed that the Cononley lines, while already showing as enabled, won’t officially go live (take orders) with FTTC until September 2015. Gigaclear informs us that they were approached late last year by locals who had been trying to get BT to upgrade them for 2 years and at that point they agreed to do the work.

Apparently BT then said they were going to upgrade Cononley and so Gigaclear’s approach is to roll-out their FTTP network as fast as possible in order to beat BT to the finish line. Gigaclear is already taking orders, subject to their standard business model (i.e. they need 30% take-up to proceed), and once achieved they will invest to build the network.

As a side note Gigaclear also said that much of nearby Carleton is stuck on aluminium wiring rather than copper, so the community is obviously quite keen to see FTTP.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
2 Responses
  1. MikeW says:

    That’s a leap from the South-East for Gigaclear – almost into B4RN territory!

    I recall one of these two villages had a problem with locating the FTTC cabinet a while back, with too many other underground services making it impossible to find a location. I thought that got sorted out though.

    I also recall that the November “quid pro quo” arrangement with SFNY, after BT missed the phase 1 deadline (delays on some EO cabinets) was that BT agreed to add some Skipton cabinets back into the commercial rollout…

    I note there are currently 5 cabinets on the Skipton exchange, that are earmarked in the commercial rollout (old phases), and that have dates planned for later this year. It looks like Carleton’s cabinet is one of these 5, so is commercial.

    Cononley’s cabinet also looks to be commercial, though within a recent commercial phase.

    1. MikeW says:

      Note: Its highly likely that, amongst the 5 Skipton cabinets still to be done, are the three which got stopped because power costs were something like £90k.

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