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Rural UK ISP Gigaclear Brings FTTP to 10,000 Essex Premises

Thursday, April 23rd, 2020 (5:00 pm) - Score 1,757

Full fibre ISP Gigaclear has announced that their on-going roll-out of a 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network in Essex (England) has now covered 10,000 premises, which includes 1,153 homes and businesses that were added in just the last month alone. A further 20,000 are due to be covered by December 2021.

The most recent addition of 1,153 premises includes 771 that were reached through Gigaclear’s own commercial deployment and 382 that were delivered under their state aid supported Superfast Essex (SFE) contracts (i.e. Phases 3.1 – Uttlesford, 3.2 – Braintree + Colchester and 4a.1 – Epping Forest). The 1,153 can also be broken down as follows: 537 addresses in the Epping Forest District, 517 in Braintree and 99 in Uttlesford.  

NOTE: Gigaclear’s SFE contract for Epping Forest was due to begin work in July 2020.

Despite this progress it should be noted that Gigaclear’s Phase 3 SFE deployments are still running well behind schedule (here). Under the original plan Phase 3 (8,300 premises) was due to be completed by the end of 2019 and not 2021, while Phase 4 (2,100 premises) is much more recent but due to complete by the same date.

Nevertheless the provider finally appears to be getting back on-track after suffering significant turbulence over the past year or so. Earlier this month they also secured £525m in financing to help drive a new long-term build strategy (here). The operator is typically tackling some of the hardest to reach rural communities, which is no easy task and tends to be very expensive.

Tony Smith, Gigaclear’s Regional GM for the East of England, said:

“We’re extremely proud to have connected an additional 382 properties in partnership with Superfast Essex, and a further 771 properties on our own, all in one month.

Gigaclear’s work is considered essential by Government, so we are continuing our activities maintaining, building and installing new customers on our network where it is safe to do so. Never has connectivity been more important for the communities we have built to and those we are still working to reach.”

Separately the ISP also noted that their commercial deployments across the South West of England have in the past month alone reached 966 additional rural properties across Devon and Somerset, which follows a recent agreement with the Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) project to finish part-built areas (here).

Leave a Comment
8 Responses
  1. Avatar Chris Sayers

    I wish Gigaclear all the best, I hope all goes well and they can get back on track.

  2. Avatar Moss

    I just hope as a Nation we will reach full fibre capacity to the point no region will be left behind in the very future, by the looks of it seems to be accelerating (ISPs) are putting in the work to make sure they meet the demands of every region it seems.

  3. Avatar AnotherTim

    They have also announced that they have connected 966 properties in Devon and Somerset. They are also making some progress in the Fastershire areas so I expect they will announce that too soon, if only to stay in the news. They are still running several years behind their original schedule though.

  4. Avatar Annoyed from Epping

    I asked Superfast Essex when they would be rolling out to central Epping and was told that as we already have Virgin Media, we won’t be getting FTTH. This is a ridiculous position because all homes should have access to FTTH if they want it. VM will never overlay their 1990’s Cable and Wireless dinosaur network with FTTH which means we’re in the most densely populated parts of town with the worst internet speeds, that are constantly congested. Does a granny in a country house need 1G? No. Does a house full of kids and executives working from home? YES!!

    • Avatar The Facts

      ‘all homes should have access to FTTH if they want it’ Really, how to fund?

    • Avatar CJ

      As an Essex resident who can’t get VM, only a long FTTC line, I’d be very annoyed if my tax money were used by Superfast Essex to build FTTP for people who can get VM.

    • Avatar GNewton

      @The Facts:

      “‘all homes should have access to FTTH if they want it’ Really, how to fund?”

      The government. This comes back to your suggestion from some years ago, namely that of a nationwide government-funded fibre rollout, remember? Of course, since then there have been hopeless cherry-picking patchwork projects going on, but still leaving the vast majority without fibre, while some areas have multiple last-mile networks which is a collossal waste of resources. And don’t come up with the lame excuse that the money isn’t there, see e.g. the wasteful projects like H2S, or throwing Billions at failing banks some years ago, etc.

    • Avatar TheTruth

      @Annoyed from Epping

      I totally support the stance of Superfast Essex.

      If you an EXECUTIVE working from home, why don’t you pay for FTTPod yourself rather than thinking you have a god given right over others in a worse position.

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