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UPD Gigaclear Hail 10,000 UK Customers on Rural FTTH Broadband Network

Friday, April 28th, 2017 (11:21 am) - Score 1,487

Gigaclear, which specialises in rolling out ultrafast Gigabit Fibre-to-the-Premise (FTTP/H) broadband networks to rural parts of England, has today celebrated the news that their ever expanding service has managed to attract some 10,000 customers.

The ISP initially started life as more of a commercial demand-led operator, although over the past couple of years they’ve won a growing number of significant state aid broadband contracts (recent examples here, here and here) and these are helping to give their network coverage a significant boost.

So far Gigaclear has managed to deploy their 1000Mbps+ broadband service (they’ve also tested speeds of up to 5Gbps) to over 35,000 42,000 rural properties around counties such as Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Gloucestershire, Kent, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Rutland and Worcestershire.

At the current rate we’d expect their network coverage to at least double over the next few years and more contracts look set to be scooped. As evidence of that they’ve recently had to open a new / expanded office at Abingdon Business Park in Oxfordshire (here).

Matthew Hare, CEO of Gigaclear, said:

“We delivered our first full fibre network in rural Rutland at the end of 2011 and I’m very proud that in just over five years, Gigaclear has become such a significant challenger in the rural broadband market.

We are the only network delivering a totally futureproof, full fibre network that guarantees minimum upload and download speeds of 50Mbps and access to Gigabit speeds in rural areas and I am very much looking forward to bringing our service to many tens of thousands more customers in the future. This is just the beginning.”

In fairness we should point out that there are several other rural focused FTTP/H networks offering Gigabit broadband speeds, such as the popular B4RN service that operates around Lancashire and its neighbouring counties.

Meanwhile the provider’s 10,000th customer, David Roberts from a village near Cirencester (Gloucestershire), was also awarded with a free celebratory Samsung 4K TV. Not bad going.

UPDATE 29th April 2017

Gigaclear informs that their latest network coverage figure states FTTP is now available to 42,000 premises.

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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.
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13 Responses
  1. Stephen says:

    They could do a cracking trade in Aberdeenshire I bet, we have something like 46% of properties on E/O lines. People are so desperate for a good broadband service.

    1. Lee says:

      Would likely cost too much money…. I suspect that’s why no other company has done it.

    2. Philip J Fry says:

      [Insert “shut up and take my money” meme here]

  2. comnut says:

    what about us in greater london??? 🙂

    1. CarlT says:

      These guys don’t do cities. Rural only. The UK has ended up with a weird FTTP deployment where there is proportionately more in rural areas than urban ones.

      Openreach are probably the best bet for FTTP in areas where VM have existing HFC coverage.

  3. John Miles says:

    I’ve seen them installing fibre near me but am puzzled why they dig a trench rather than the much quicker process of using a special machine with a huge ‘blade’ that cuts a very narrow slice into the soil and runs out the cable into the bottom of the cut – much faster and less messy. Does anyone know why they use the JCB, pick and shovel approach ?

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      It often depends on the area and what kind / size of cable ducts you’re putting down to hold the optical fibre. In other cases they might be limited by the capabilities of a specific contractor. Best people to ask about a specific area are Gigaclear themselves.

    2. New_Londoner says:

      Irrespective of the method, putting fibre into soft verges seems to be one of the causes of Gigaclear’s frequent network outages in the Midlands. It appears to be prone to being accidentally dug up by farm contractors, possibly even by tyres gouging into soft earth. Perhaps it needs to be buried deeper, using armoured cable ?

    3. GNewton says:

      @New_Londoner: There are no frequent network outages with Gigaclear, certainly no more than with other companies like Virgin or BT. In fact, BTs blocked or poor ducts may even cause more issues.

    4. GNewton says:

      @MikeW: I am aware of that forum thread. Have you also read this post:

      Since you brought it up with Trustpilot: There are only 5 reviews, it’s rated at a ‘Poor 4.5 from 0 – 10’. By contrast, BT on Trustpilot has 2,660 reviews, with a much worst rating of a Bad 0.4 from 0 – 10.

      Of course, there is no excuse for Gigaclear not to do better in the future.

  4. Peter says:

    Just to add to my comment on that other thread….
    Recently there was work done on a local road by a utility company as part of a house total ground up type refurbishment
    They missed the Gigaclear fibre buried as I previously said around 1ft below the ground with its “fibre below” marker tape – but instead they managed to wipe out the BT clay ductwork at around 2ft below ground level plus cut into two umpteen pair cables within them.

    Meanwhile my Gigaclear connection continues without any faults since those mentioned on that previous thread.
    So that is no slow downs, no packet losses, no disconnections, no DNS server failures. In fact none of the mysterious problems that affected my ADSL2 connection with Plusnet prior on a regular basis.
    (BT has so far not upgraded the cabinets to FTTC)

    The local contractor installing it used a mix of methods, Across fields the full scale auto-trencher as suggested above, on 100 yard runs of rural verges uninterrupted by entrances they used a hand steered mini-trencher which just dug the trench only. The verges with the usual rural ditch beyond are too narrow to use the big auto-trencher. Elsewhere it was a mini-digger.

    I have already stated that the Gigaclear multi-core fibre cables containing maybe up to 144 fibres running down a road ARE armoured. It is only the individual house supply fibre cables that just have a glass fibre mat type insulation under the PVC outer sheath.

    I can only suppose @NewLondoner works or worked for BT in their constant attempts to trash Gigaclear. We had this when GC were canvassing for signups. A local who worked for BT constantly trying to kebab Gigaclear with all sorts of allegations and saying how BT were about to upgrade the local cabinet to FTTC (they were’t).

    1. Fastman says:

      not sure how the local would have known)– there a significant number of issue they have had around cables dug or verges (especially in Berkshire etc dug on private gardens and in Northamptonshire they were actually stopped doing work for a period of time — their backhaul will be longer and so may be less resilient as it wont be as redundant)– Actually some resident (a gigaclear villager on a retainer) told the local engineering team that Gigaclear owned all the network and BT had to buy network from them !!!!!! — there a lot of misinformation / Deliberate disinformation out there —

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