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6,330 Premises in Northamptonshire UK to Get Ultrafast 1Gbps FTTP Broadband

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017 (2:05 pm) - Score 1,203
gigaclear fastershire deployment rural road

The Superfast Northamptonshire project in England has today signed two new contracts – worth £10.23m – with rural fibre optic ISP Gigaclear, which will enable the provider to roll-out their ultrafast (1Gbps+) Fibre-to-the-Premise (FTTP) broadband network to 6,330 premises.

The Northamptonshire scheme completed its original contract with Openreach (BT) at the end of 2015 (here), which enabled 90% of local homes and businesses in the county to access a “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) network (reflecting an additional 61,950 premises passed). Most of this was done using VDSL2 based ‘up to’ 80Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology and tiny bit of “ultra-fastFTTP.

superfast_northamptonshire_targets_stage_one_and_two

Since then they’ve been working with BT to extend that coverage to a further 20,465 premises (Contract 2), which is due to complete by December 2017. Today around 94% of the county can access broadband speeds of 24Mbps+ and once contract two is completed then this should rise above 95%.

However the local authority has just signed a third contract, this time with fibre optic ISP Gigaclear instead of BT. Under the new deal some 6,330 extra homes and businesses will be covered by the ISP’s latest Fibre-to-the-Premise (FTTP) technology, which can deliver “ultra-fast” broadband speeds of up to 1Gbps and faster in the future.

The new deal is being supported by around £4.9 million from the county council and £1.68 million from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme, with a further £3.65 million in private investment coming from Gigaclear itself.

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

“Winning the Superfast Northamptonshire contracts means that we can now set the wheels in motion for providing a futureproof, pure fibre network to people living and working in the most remote corners of the county. Rural Northamptonshire will be one of the best connected areas in the UK as a result. This will be life-changing for residents and have a huge impact on the local economy as the ultrafast speeds attract organisations to the area.

The fact that Gigaclear is winning more and more contracts like this one is a huge step in the right direction in the campaign for pure fibre, as we continue to connect thousands of people to speeds of up to 1Gbps. We are excited to work in partnership with the Superfast Northamptonshire team. This, together with our current and planned commercial coverage, will mean that we expect to be delivering ultrafast to more than 25,000 residents and business premises in rural Northamptonshire.”

Cllr Ian Morris, Superfast Northamptonshire Project, said:

“I’m delighted that we’re going to be working with Gigaclear on Stage Three of our Superfast Northamptonshire project, which will focus on those hardest to reach rural areas, which are the most difficult to serve with infrastructure.

Having a county with excellent broadband infrastructure is essential if we want to be able to compete economically with other areas. The contracts awarded to Gigaclear will enable local businesses to benefit from some of the fastest broadband speeds available which is good news for data hungry operations and will to help boost the bottom line, whilst access to ultrafast broadband at home means the whole family can get on-line to take advantage of all that the internet has to offer.”

According to Gigaclear the FTTP roll-out will be complete by December 2018; news on the exact coverage plan for the third contract should follow later this year (around May 2017). The deal marks the latest in a string of big contract wins for Gigaclear and they’re also the favourites to pick-up a major deal in the Gloucestershire and Herefordshire region (here).

However all of these new deals will be putting additional pressure on Gigaclear to ramp-up their deployment scale and attract more investment. So far they’ve managed to cope and we hope that continues into the foreseeable future. The larger they become, the more we all expect.

We should point out that at the end of contract two around 14,000 premises in the county will still be waiting for a superfast broadband network to reach them, thus there will remain a fair gap left to fill even once Gigaclear’s 6,330 has been subtracted.

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Mark Jackson
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.
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4 Responses
  1. Avatar New_Londoner

    Unfortunate timing for Gigaclear to be telling customers it has a major network outage today. :-p

    It does seem to be suffering from outages and planned maintenance, at least at community level, surprisingly frequently. I thought that didn’t happen on “pure fibre” networks? 😉

    • Avatar NGA for all

      New-Londoner – in these circumstances how can BT lose when;
      BT will need to return the subsidy taken for 71 cabinets in Northampton exchange, 27 in Kingsthorpe and 60 other cabinets in what will shown to be commercially sized exchanges.
      This compares with BT’s commercial model in Hardingstone where BT can fully fund cabinets including 5 serving less than 200 premises each.
      Orchestrating losses to Gigaclear takes a huge effort.
      It was perfectly within BT’s gift to average costs over a larger area so these works could have been done to BT’s standard.
      There must be something within your processes believing the above monies do not have to be returned. Perhaps the gap funding principle will not be enforced.

  2. Avatar Fastboy

    Indeed! I have lost access to the Internet 4 times in last week. Part of a regional and national problem as the link to Gigaclear was always “lit” during the loss of actual internet access. In the last 8 months we have endured 8 outages….. Can’t run a business on that basis so thinking about Landline again or 4G as backup.

    Does Gigaclear need more capex and access points?

  3. Avatar MikeW

    I haven’t cross-checked details anywhere else, and haven’t followed Northants closely, but at first glance this looks like a much worse offering from GC than the CDS win.

    Here, Gigaclear are putting in £550 per property passed, less than half of that they are investing in CDS. The council here are putting in around £1050.

    The total – £1,600 per property, plus connection fees – is pretty close to the total in CDS.

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