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UPDATE Gigaclear Plans 1Gbps Broadband for Part of the Blackdown Hills

Monday, June 27th, 2016 (10:46 am) - Score 1,254

Ultra-fast fibre optic ISP Gigaclear have announced that they are “set to bring” their 1Gbps Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network to at least part of the vast rural Blackdown Hills area, which straddles the border between Somerset and Devon in England.

ISPreview.co.uk understands that this will be a commercial deployment and as such Gigaclear are keen that it should NOT be confused with a separate project that is being planned by the Blackdown Hills Parish Network (here). The East Devon District Council (EDDC) has also pledged support for BHPN, albeit so far only in principle.

The BHPN scheme had been hoping to secure £4.6m from the EU and the plan was to table an Invitation to Tender (ITT) in early 2017, although that proposal may now face some additional challenges in the wake of last week’s Brexit vote.

However Gigaclear, which has been talking to some local communities for awhile, only recently learned about the BHPN funding request and have decided to proceed with their demand-led deployment model (they normally like to have about 60% of a community signed-up before rolling out). None of this precludes the ISP from bidding on a future tender, but it won’t stop their existing plans either.

The official press release is due this week, although we understand that some 2,000 properties (5 cabinet areas via 120km of underground fibres) are within the ISP’s planned network coverage and their first community events should be starting in the next couple of weeks. Below is a Google Earth map showing the proposed coverage area (shaded in red).

blackdown_hills_gigaclear_map

At least there’s still a fair bit left for BHPN to tackle, assuming that project moves forward.

UPDATE 3:09pm

The roll-out of Gigaclear’s FTTP network in the area is being supported by the local MP for Tiverton and Honiton, Neil Parish. Elsewhere Devon County Council’s Andrew Leadbetter has also welcomed the news.

MP Neil Parish said:

“I’m delighted that Gigaclear is planning to invest in the Blackdown Hills to provide fibre to the premises superfast broadband. I’ve been making the case for more commercial investment to increase choice and competition in the broadband sector. This is the sort of investment we’ve been looking for. This is really encouraging news for local residents and businesses. It complements Connecting Devon and Somerset’s programme which is working across Devon and Somerset to provide faster broadband where the commercial sector isn’t investing. I look forward to Gigaclear working closely with local parishes to provide the broadband they need.”

Matthew Hare, CEO of Gigaclear, added:

“We’re really excited about starting a new pure fibre network project in Devon and Somerset that will transform ways of working, doing business, learning, communicating and being entertained in the area. We’ll be providing homes and businesses with a future-proof, world-class Internet connection which will literally change the way they live their lives.”

Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. Avatar Mr.T says:

    Please begging to God for us young people who still live with their parents in less populated areas such as myself please put fibre broadband in areas near and around honiton and such as honestly I’ve given up on BT broadband it has failed so many times repeated crashes and failures the support service is bad please try and make fibre broadband spread over all populated areas of the black downs thank you

    From a teen who likes gaming but can’t game cause it’s to slow.

    Btw my email is real not a virus

  2. Avatar Kevin says:

    I could not believe that at last Stapley in the Blackdown Hills could have super fast broadband soon thanks to Gigaclear. When most of the Country has fibre broadband we have been ignored up until now and yet is communities like ours who need it the most. Well done Gigaclear!

  3. Avatar Mike Allen says:

    Please connect up Dunkerswell because many businesses need you there!,

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