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Gigaclear Start 1Gbps FTTP Broadband Roll-out in Devon and Somerset UK

Friday, September 8th, 2017 (5:39 pm) - Score 1,948

The Connecting Devon and Somerset project has today named the first 21 communities (i.e. 9,000 initial homes and businesses) that will benefit from Gigaclear’s roll-out of a new 1Gbps FTTP broadband network in the region, which is due to start deploying from November 2017.

At present around 94% of Devon and Somerset can already be reached by a “fibre” (FTTC/FTTP/DOCSIS) based broadband network (), although “superfast broadband” speeds of 30Mbps+ are only estimated to be available to approximately 86% of local homes and businesses (i.e. 282,000 extra premises or 327,000 including sub-superfast speeds). Openreach has been responsible for all of the first deployment phase, while Gigaclear scooped up all but one of the next Phase 2 contracts (wireless ISP Airband grabbed the other). Further details here and here.

The Phase 2 work is part of a £62.25 million (public investment) roll-out being conducted by CDS, which is being supported by a similar amount of private investment from Gigaclear (across all Phase 2 contracts). Apparently the pre-construction survey work for the Phase 2 roll-out of “ultrafastFibre-to-the-Premise (FTTP) technology has already begun and the first build will then follow in November.

The First 21 Communities to Benefit

Over Stratton
Dowlish Ford
Isle Abbotts
Blagdon Hill
Buckland St Mary
Bradford on Tone

Noss Mayo
Newton Ferrers
Aveton Gifford

It’s expected that the first customer connections under this roll-out should be ready during February 2018. By the end of 2019 over 40,000 additional homes and businesses in the CDS region will then have access to “ultrafast broadband” via what CDS claim to be “the biggest single investment in fibre connections in the UK” (we assume they mean via BDUK as otherwise that would be very wrong).

Matt Hancock, Minister for Digital, said:

“We want everyone in the UK to have access to fast and reliable broadband, and the Connecting Devon and Somerset project has already made this a reality for more than 320,000 local properties who would otherwise have been left behind. But we know there’s still more to do, and I’m delighted that our investment will now take gold standard, full fibre broadband, to over 40,000 extra homes and businesses across the region.”

Joe Frost, Business Development Director at Gigaclear, said:

“As part of the CDS and Gigaclear ultrafast broadband transformation, some of the hardest to reach rural areas of Devon and Somerset will be able to access the UK’s fastest broadband speeds through full fibre. The first Gigabit enabled residents and businesses will soon be able to do whatever they want to do online, regardless of their location or the amount of people using the service simultaneously. We are proud to be working with CDS on this project and look forward to being part of this rural broadband revolution to future-proof the area’s digital economy.”

Councillor David Hall, CDS Board Member, said:

“We have already dramatically improved broadband speeds across Somerset and I’m delighted with Gigaclear’s plans to extend this further. It’s great news for homeowners and the Somerset economy as a whole. Broadband connectivity is a vital part of the infrastructure that helps current businesses grow and attracts new entrepreneurs to the county.”

The coverage figure jumps to 60,000 premises if we also include the service that will be delivered under Phase 2 via Airband’s fixed wireless broadband network, although initially that won’t deliver “ultrafast” speeds. Interestingly CDS define “ultrafast” by the same quirky definition as Ofcom (i.e. speeds of faster than 300Mbps+).

Around two thirds of all superfast broadband infrastructure currently built or planned in the region is wholly commercial, while CDS is using a mix of state aid (EU, Broadband Delivery UK and Local Authorities etc.) and private investment in order to go much further.

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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.
Leave a Comment
8 Responses
  1. Devon waiting room says:

    So the list of 1st communities the council put out in March this year haven’t changed & still not been started.

    The waiting continues

    1. Devon waiting room says:

      LOT 2 – Rooksbridge, Lympsham, Brean, Weare & Crickham
      LOT 3 – Roundham, Dowlish, Merriott, Over Stratton & Isle Abbotts
      LOT 5 – Corfe, Blagdon, Buckland St. Mary, Wadeford & Bradford on Tone
      LOT 6 – Yealmbridge, Noss Mayo, Newton Ferrers, Ashford & Aveton Gifford

    2. matthew says:

      At least they’re on the list 🙁

  2. Dominic says:

    Still waiting for them to start in the Forest if Dean Gloucester even though Fastershire and Gigaclear were due to start in July….

    1. Ultraspeedy says:

      Its called Forest Of Dean, id had thought if you could change your name and post the same rubbish in multi stories you could had at least corrected that before cutting and pasting.

    2. TheFacts says:

      @US – actually ‘Forest of Dean’. Did you mean ‘it’s’?

    3. Ultraspeedy says:

      “Did you mean ‘it’s’?”

      I see what you tried to do there. Unfortunately if you are going to be a Grammar Nazi dictating where an apostrophe should be placed, then you should know that the start of a sentence would also require a capital ‘I’. Good try though.

  3. Tim4 says:

    Anyone have any idea how will rollout be affected by carillion liquidation?

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