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Northamptonshire UK Sees Ultrafast Fibre Reach 10,000 Premises

Wednesday, May 20th, 2020 (4:56 pm) - Score 911

The state aid supported Superfast Northamptonshire project has confirmed that, since the start of their Phase 3 roll-out with UK ISP Gigaclear in 2017 (here), the local coverage of “ultrafast-fibre” broadband has “connected” 10,000 premises (we think they mean premises passed) and “superfast broadband” now covers over 98%.

As we recall, the Phase 3 contracts with Gigaclear aimed to provide broadband speeds of up to 1Gbps to over 6,336 premises by the end of March 2019, although this completion date was later delayed by some of the ISPs earlier problems with planning and resources (here). On top of that Gigaclear has a big commercial deployment in the area, which was expected to take their total coverage to around 25,000 premises.

NOTE: Local FTTP coverage is now 11%, up from 0.4% in 2015, but this also includes work by Openreach, Virgin Media and others.

Otherwise some £6.58m of public money has been invested in Phase 3 (£4.9m from the county council and £1.68m the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme), while Gigaclear itself has invested £3.65m.

Catherine Warren, Gigaclear’s Regional Manager for the East Midlands, said:

“This is an enormous achievement. Connecting rural communities to ultrafast internet is an incredibly complex task and we’re proud to have hit this milestone.

We lay our fibre cabling below ground for longevity and to decrease environmental impact and visual blight. In rural environments, that means working with heavy duty equipment on very small roads, negotiating wayleaves on private property, navigating river and rail crossings, and, of course, working to minimise visible indications of our presence in what are often very beautiful environments. These challenges are why rural Northamptonshire has gone so long without decent broadband, other providers simply weren’t willing to go there.

Although COVID-19 has slowed us down, we are continuing to work to connect further properties in Northamptonshire where safe to do so, as our work is considered essential by government. This situation has highlighted just how vital ultrafast connectivity is to modern life.”

Jason Smithers, Northamptonshire County Councillor, said:

“I am delighted with the progress that Gigaclear has made connecting many of our rural communities with futureproof full-fibre broadband, as part of the Superfast Northamptonshire project. This infrastructure is proving more vital than ever as more people need to work, and undertake other activities, from home. It will also play a pivotal role in stimulating an economic recovery in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

End.

Leave a Comment
2 Responses
  1. Avatar Graham Long

    Clearly Devon & Somerset’s loss is Northamptonshire’s (and Essex’s) gain thanks to the incompetence of Connecting Devon & Somerset and BDUK’s incompetence, cancelling five Gigaclear contracts last year.

  2. Avatar Fastman

    crazy – BDUK’s incompetence, cancelling five Gigaclear contracts last year. (they were canceleed due to significant ability to required premises as part of the milestones on the contract and inability to agree a recovery plan) – this was clearly convered by ISP review at the time (Devon and Somerset UK Scrap Gigaclear FTTP Broadband Contract 12/09/2019)

    one of the comments advised “Targets have continued to be missed by a substantial margin. By the end of the first quarter of this year (June 30,2019) Gigaclear had provided 496 properties with access to the new network compared to contract targets totalling 28,689.”

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