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Voneus Partners Gigaclear to Offer 1Gbps Broadband in UK Rural Areas

Thursday, January 25th, 2018 (11:24 am) - Score 1,640
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Fixed wireless ISP Voneus has today announced an interesting new partnership that will enable them to offer residential and business customers a wide range of 1Gbps capable broadband services, albeit via Gigaclear’s ultrafast Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network in rural parts of the United Kingdom.

So far Gigaclear, which last year secured £111 million of additional private investment (here), has won a number of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK contracts and in total they expect to reach 150,000 premises in rural areas by around 2020 (mostly in England) via their “full fibre” network. But until now the only place you could buy the related packages was via Gigaclear itself.

Meanwhile Voneus has been busy expanding their own hybrid fibre and fixed wireless network to various rural parts of the country. However, under the new arrangement, Voneus will also become a Gigaclear Retail Services Provider (RSP), which means that those covered by Gigaclear’s network will have an additional choice of ISP.

The deal is essentially a wholesale arrangement that enables Voneus to offer its customers broadband over a hybrid of its own wireless and Gigaclear’s fibre, albeit under the Voneus brand. “In areas where Gigaclear is unable to reach immediately, Voneus has the ability to quickly deploy superfast wireless broadband, enabling a greater number of rural communities to connect to high-speed broadband until full fibre broadband is rolled out to their locations,” said Voneus.

Paul Lawrence, Voneus Director of Strategic Partnerships, said:

“Just like Voneus, Gigaclear is entirely focused on bridging the digital divide for those rural communities which, for far too long, have been stuck in the broadband slow lane. By joining forces, the two companies can offer genuinely high-speed broadband services while at the same time cut waiting times. This partnership will provide rural communities with internet speeds that exceed those available in urban centres.”

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

“Voneus’ reputation for delivering excellent customer service, its understanding of the challenges associated with connecting rural communities, as well as its ambitious plans to grow its network footprint and range of services, make it an ideal retail partner. Together we can provide rural communities with a range of future-proofed broadband services that will help them thrive, both socially and economically.”

By the sounds of it Voneus and Gigaclear may be taking a cautious approach to adoption of the new arrangement. So far the first / only known community (village) to benefit from this is Rode in Somerset, which has already had a wireless network installed by Voneus and the expectation is that Gigaclear may soon make their own FTTP ultrafast broadband available in the area.

The approach sounds like it could help to mitigate some of the concern about future overbuilding, although such an arrangement will still involve two networks being installed rather than one (we’d assume the wireless one gets removed when FTTP arrives but it’s unclear). Some might suggest that this is perhaps not the most efficient use of money.

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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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5 Responses
  1. Avatar willperrin

    If this gives voneus the opportunity for more fibre 1gb backhaul for a wireless node in a rural area then the deal would radically extend the footprint. a 30mbs wireless connection is transformative in 1-2 mbs rural fringes, but finding backhaul can be v difficult/expensive.

    • Avatar gerarda

      And it may also encourage Gigaclear to invest in villages smaller than 400 houses if neighbouring villages can be reached by wireless.

  2. Avatar Tim

    I’ll be interested to hear more about this in due course. I’m interested in the “In areas where Gigaclear is unable to reach immediately” statement – what do they mean by “immediately”? Gigaclear are due to start the build in my area “soon”, but by “soon” they mean in a little over 2 years time. Is “immediately” sooner than “soon”?
    I assume it won’t benefit my area, since until Gigaclear complete their build (in about 3 years time if there are no delays) there won’t be any Gigaclear backhaul available anyway.

    • I think it will only really matter if Voneus is also coming to your area. This seems more about Voneus being able to continue the service once Gigaclear goes live in one of their areas, albeit over FTTP rather than wireless.

    • Avatar Tim

      So you don’t think they are going “to cut waiting times” as Paul Lawrence suggested?

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