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Gigaclear Confirm Phase 2 FTTP Broadband Rollout in Gloucestershire UK

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017 (1:29 pm) - Score 1,990
gigaclear digger and fence

Fibre optic ISP Gigaclear has today announced which areas will be the first to benefit from the second phase of the Fastershire project in Gloucestershire, which will see their ultrafast 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premise (FTTP) network being extended to thousands of additional rural premises.

The state aid supported Fastershire scheme has already helped an extra 96,516 premises in both Gloucestershire and Herefordshire to be put within reach of faster broadband, albeit mostly via Openreach’s (BT) slower ‘up to’ 80Mbps Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) service. However the project’s overall aim isn’t very specific and merely states “that by 2018 there will be access to fast broadband for all who need it“.

On top of that Gigaclear also holds the contract to roll-out their ultrafast FTTP network to 6,495 premises in the Cotswolds area, with a second contract expanding this to 2,600 premises in the Forest of Dean (Gloucestershire) and Golden Valley (Herefordshire). Some 5,000 of the 6,495 premises in the Cotswolds deployment have already been covered and this should complete during the coming summer.

Gigaclear has since added to its haul by picking up a major Phase 2 roll-out contract for both counties (here), which over the next few years could benefit a further 35,000 premises (8,000 of these will be in Herefordshire). Today the ISP has confirmed that Elmstone Hardwicke, Stoke Orchard, Deerhurst, Portway and Brookthorpe will be among the first to benefit from the next phase.

Lynden Stowe, Gloucestershire Cabinet Member for Economy, said:

“Faster broadband is vital for our communities and businesses to thrive and grow. I’m delighted that the Fastershire project, in partnership with Gigaclear, will be taking faster broadband to even more homes and businesses in some of the most rural areas of the county where larger suppliers were not prepared to go without public investment.”

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

“We are delighted to be providing a futureproof network to local people, which will improve the quality of their lives for work, entertainment, communications and play! Thousands of properties in the Cotswolds have already been connected to our ultrafast broadband service on time and in budget thanks to the Fastershire project.

We are delighted to be continuing our partnership with Gloucestershire County Council through Phase 2 and look forward to welcoming these new communities to our network. There is no doubt that this will continue to be socially and economically transformative for these rural areas.”

The new roll-out phase is due to begin this summer (when the original contract completes), although it’s interesting to note that many of the properties in some of the aforementioned communities (e.g. Stoke Orchard and Brookthorpe) already appear to have access to Openreach’s FTTC based hybrid-fibre network. We assume that Gigaclear will focus on connecting those that BT missed.

A more detailed roll-out schedule is expected to be published shortly, which will be handy because the local authority still hasn’t fleshed out precisely what has been agreed for the area. At present the overall coverage of “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) networks in both counties still appears to be sitting just shy of the initial 90% goal (it’s at about 90% in Gloucestershire already, but only around 83% in Herefordshire).

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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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6 Responses
  1. Avatar Tim

    I’ve been waiting 3 years to find out when I’ll get better than ADSL Max. I guess I’ve still got a while to wait to find out how long I’ll have to wait…
    I expect my community will be forced to implement a DIY solution long before Gigaclear get here – we just can’t afford to wait any longer.

  2. Avatar James

    It is good to see/hear that Fastershire have finally sorted (maybe) this out. Having put the postcode in the website search is shows we will be part of the phase 2 roll out.

    Let us hope they sort the premise level info and dates out far quicker than what has happened in the past. There has still been no reasonable explanation from FS why certain areas were left out of phase 1 even though, in most cases, the infrastructure (except the fibre) was already there or easily accessible. In some cases they bypassed cabinets and went went to cabinets further away from the exchange.

    I am not complaining at the prospect of GC being available and wait for info as to when….

  3. Avatar Tim

    Phase 2 deployment is expected to start;

    Area 2 (Forest of Dean & Golden Valley) – July 2017
    Area 3C (South Herefordshire) – July 2017
    Area 3D (North Gloucestershire) – September 2017
    Area 3E (South Gloucestershire) – June 2018
    Area 4 (North Herefordshire) – TBC

    • Avatar wirelesspacman

      Is there any detail anywhere of what is to be included/covered in each area?

    • Avatar Tim

      There is some more info if you use the address checker on the Fastershire web site – properties that are included will say they are included in phase 2. I assume properties that aren’t included will say that they are exploring solutions.
      For properties in areas mention in the press release the Gigaclear address checker will say that they are in the planning phase, and there is an option to pre-register. Other properties will just give you an option to express interest.

  4. Avatar Tim

    It is now November and the information from Fastershire about roll out of phase 2 hasn’t updated. Is there any idea when they might actually show a timeline or a start date. As I understand it the project is about 2 years long. which is a long time to wait.

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