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Gigaclear Deal Brings 1Gbps FTTP Broadband to 4,500 Essex Premises

Thursday, Jun 25th, 2015 (1:26 pm) - Score 2,029

The state aid fuelled Superfast Essex project in England has become to latest to break with the tradition of BT contracts by agreeing to a new £7.5m deal with Gigaclear, which will see 4,500 premises in the Epping Forest area benefit from their “ultrafast” 1000Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network.

The full funding split is not stated, although investment for this “Rural Challenge Project” is coming from Gigaclear, the UK Government, Essex County Council and Epping Forest District Council has contributed £84,000. Apparently if the project is successful then the local authority will “consider expanding this approach to other rural areas in Essex” (i.e. rural locations not yet included in their current Broadband Delivery UK based plans).

Otherwise most of the new network will be in the north-east of Epping Forest (i.e. Fyfield, Stapleford Tawney, Bobbingworth, Ongar, Moreton, Magdalen Laver, High Laver, Little Laver, and Theydon Mount). But some parts of the following communities will also benefit: High Ongar, Willingale, Abbess Beauchamp and Berners Roding, Stapleford Abbotts, Stanford Rivers, Matching, North Weald Bassett, Lambourne, Theydon Garnon, Sheering, Epping Upland, Theydon Bois and Chigwell.

Ed Vaizey MP, Digital Economy Minister, said:

The Superfast Essex programme has made tremendous progress in rolling out superfast broadband to rural communities. I’m delighted to hear that even more people and businesses in Epping Forest will now benefit from this project with Gigaclear as part of our commitment to ensure 95 per cent of the UK has access to superfast speeds by 2017.”

Matthew Hare, CEO of Gigaclear, added:

We are thrilled to have been selected by Essex County Council to deliver what will be one of the fastest broadband networks in the UK. Once connected, customers on this purely fibre based network will benefit from a transformed Internet, work, communications, entertainment and play experience. Everyone in a household or business can have enough broadband capacity to do online, whatever they want, whenever they want, saving time and reducing frustration.”

The construction phase is due to start in November 2015 and will complete by December 2016, although the first customers should be able to connect as soon as December this year. Customers typically pay from £38.80 per month for Gigaclear’s entry-level symmetric 50Mbps package (no phone line rental required).

Meanwhile the wider Superfast Essex project is still working to make BT’s slower “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) network available to 87% of local homes and businesses by the end of summer (benefitting 65,000 premises) and a new contract was recently signed that will extend this to another 51,000 premises (here).

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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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