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Fibre Optic ISP Gigaclear in Odd UK Satellite Broadband Supply Deal

Wednesday, Aug 5th, 2015 (12:34 pm) - Score 1,026

Most people are probably familiar with Gigaclear as an ISP that has put huge investment towards delivering ultrafast 1000Mbps capable fibre optic broadband (FTTH/P) services into rural areas, but a new deal with Europasat (SSW) will soon also see them supporting the roll-out of inferior Satellite.

Ordinarily you wouldn’t expect to see pure fibre optic ISPs in even so much as the same room as a Satellite solution, let alone the same galaxy. The two technologies tend to be a planetary distance apart in terms of their respective capabilities and performance.

Never the less Gigaclear has decided that Satellite does have a role to play, which is to say that they will use it as a stopgap measure in areas where they intend to reach, but have yet to physically deploy. Similarly consumers in areas where Gigaclear may never reach can also expect to be referred back to Europasat.

Europasat also offers their customers a “fibre guarantee“, which allows subscribers to cancel their contracts as soon as a fixed line fibre optic service comes within reach of their home(s).

Andrew Walwyn, SSW / Europasat’s CEO, said (here):

Our partnership is all about identifying those who lack a super-fast broadband solution and getting them connected quickly and cost effectively. Recent government figures indicated 245,000 households will end up with 2Mbps broadband or less once BT completes its nationwide fibre roll-out.

Working together with Gigaclear we stand a great chance of providing those affected with a quick and permanent solution to their broadband dilemma.”

Gigaclear are known to have received interest in their network from hundreds of isolated communities across the country, although so far they’ve only been able to deploy into a small fraction of that because such work takes time and a significant amount of investment. So, as a logical approach, the above agreement would appear to make sense.

On the other hand, considering the PR angle, it’s still surprising to see a pure fibre optic provider getting so cosy with a Satellite operator and we’re not yet convinced that it will be the perfect match, particularly given that they’re targeting the same sort of markets.

It’s worth pointing out that EuropaSat currently offers a mix of Satellite services from operators like Eutelsat (Tooway), Avanti (HYLAS) and SES (Astra). The Government are also testing a new range of 30Mbps capable satellite packages as part of a Market Testing Pilot (MTP) under their Broadband Delivery UK programme, which uses some of the same platforms and could eventually be used to help connect premises in the final 1-2% of the UK via a subsidy scheme.

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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