Home
 » ISP News » 
Sponsored

Gigaclear Expands FTTP Rollout in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020 (5:11 pm) - Score 1,618
Fastershire_logo

Rural UK ISP Gigaclear has announced that they’ve completed a revision of their “full fibre” (FTTP) broadband roll-out contract with the Fastershire project in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire (England), which alongside their commercial commitment initially planned to cover more than 70,000 premises but will now reach 110,000.

At present the Fastershire project, which harnesses various different contracts with Openreach (BT), Gigaclear, Airband, Full Fibre Limited and Glide (among others), expects to extend “superfast broadband” (30Mbps+) coverage to over 97% of properties in both counties by 2022 (at the end of 2019 the figures stood at c.90% in Herefordshire and c.95% in Gloucestershire).

NOTE: So far Gigaclear’s overall FTTP rollout in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire has reached 34,000 premises.

However the most recent contracts have largely focused upon extending “gigabit-capableFibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) networks, although Gigaclear is known to have suffered some big delays due to problems caused by the provider’s previous management (here).

The good news is that Gigaclear, working with Fastershire, has finally finished revising both their state aid supported contract and commercial commitment to the area, which will result in the total number of properties in the network being increased to 110,000 (includes 9.5k premises in the Lot 1 scheme).

The revised network design is also said to include an update of the anticipated delivery timings for each community, “bringing some forward and pushing others back“, with the overall completion of this significant civil engineering programme now likely to be September 2022.

Peter Pentecost, Gigaclear’s Regional General Manager, said:

“Since our partnership with Fastershire began back in 2015 we have connected over 34,000 homes and businesses across Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, bringing the fastest broadband speeds to some of the most remote properties in the UK. Although we’ve been slowed down by COVID-19, we’ve continued our work in both counties where safe to do so, as our work is considered essential by government, and we’re now actively building in 125 communities.

However, this rollout in the most rural parts of the counties is an enormous civil engineering project and is extremely complicated. As with all works of this scale, there are a number of obstacles that can spring up unexpectedly and, because of the way our network works, delays experienced in one community build will impact the start dates for communities further down the build programme. But I am happy to say that with the organisational changes we have made recently, our ability to better forecast our delivery has now improved significantly.

We are really pleased to be able to build to more properties, and to bring delivery dates forward for some communities. However, we do understand that for those communities where the delivery timings have moved back, some significantly so due to a reconfiguration of the plans, the new network update will be frustrating news.

The movement in delivery timings is primarily due to three changes we have made to our programme; firstly bringing on additional contractor resources to increase build capacity has meant changing the build order to avoid the extra resources tripping over each other and causing traffic chaos. Secondly, to accommodate additional properties into the build necessitated a redesign of part of the network; and thirdly, the build rollout had to be reordered to ensure all properties connected can be made live as we go, rather than having areas of network dormant waiting for other parts to be completed which is even more frustrating for customers.

However, we are taking action to increase the speed of delivery. We have spent the last year expanding our team in the region, opening a new office in Gloucester and vastly growing our Operational and Delivery teams. And we have made changes to some of the network designs to ensure we are building our network in the most efficient way possible.”

The challenge now will be for Gigaclear to show that they can deliver on the promised improvement to their roll-out pace. Unlike similar difficulties experienced in the Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) project, which resulted in Gigaclear losing that contract (here), the Fastershire programme has opted to maintain their agreement and allowed the ISP time to correct for their previous mistakes.

Meanwhile the Fastershire scheme is still in the process of developing a new strategy for the future, which could see additional contracts being signed to help further extend full fibre coverage and possibly also the launch of a new Fastershire Community Broadband Grant (like a voucher scheme with talk of individual grants worth up to £5,000) to help upgrade the hardest to reach locations (here).

Share with Twitter
Share with Linkedin
Share with Facebook
Share with Reddit
Share with Pinterest
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.
Leave a Comment
9 Responses
  1. Avatar AnotherTim says:

    Fastershire have also updated the address checker on their website, so new dates can be found there. As yet Gigaclear haven’t updated their website, so the newly arranged areas aren’t apparent yet.
    I just hope that they can actually stick to this plan. The previous 4 dates have all been missed, but with luck I should only have 2 years to wait now…

    1. Avatar AnotherTim says:

      Having now read the full Fastershire press release, I still have concerns. In Gloucestershire since 2015 they have passed 30,000 properties, and now have 45,000 left to build. In Herefordshire they have built 4,000 (but didn’t have the contract until 2017), and have 25,000 to build.
      So, the past build rate is well under 10,000 a year, but they have 70,000 to build in the next 2 years. Can they really increase their build rate by a fact of at least 3.5? especially as they move further into the more rural areas?

  2. Avatar Oggy says:

    What’s their overall coverage % in all the FTTP that is available?

  3. Avatar New_Londoner says:

    It’s quite bold of Gigaclear to position this as an extension of the existing plans given that it’s so far behind with the Fastershire deployment under the BDUK contract!

  4. Avatar Alb says:

    Build in my area is due to commence by the end of this month.
    If this updated plan is hot off the press they should have high confidence in near term dates.
    We shall see…

    1. Avatar AnotherTim says:

      If work will start by the end of the month then notices will already have gone out to Parish Councils etc, and road works will be registered. Unless by start they mean they will start to apply for permits etc. and will actually start digging in another 3 months.

  5. Avatar Fabius says:

    Build in our area has been “due to start” in Q4 2019 for ages. And now it’s… Q2 2021.

    Brilliant. What an improvement.

  6. Avatar Sam says:

    Why is Leicester and Leicestershire always left out? Too multicultural for them?

    1. Avatar AnotherTim says:

      Leicestershire isn’t covered by the Fastershire BDUK scheme. However the Superfast Leicestershire website has information about the BDUK build there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments RSS Feed

Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically)

Privacy Notice: Please note that news comments are anonymous, which means that we do NOT require you to enter any real personal details to post a message. By clicking to submit a post you agree to storing your comment content, display name, IP, email and / or website details in our database, for as long as the post remains live.

Only the submitted name and comment will be displayed in public, while the rest will be kept private (we will never share this outside of ISPreview, regardless of whether the data is real or fake). This comment system uses submitted IP, email and website address data to spot abuse and spammers. All data is transferred via an encrypted (https secure) session.

NOTE 1: Sometimes your comment might not appear immediately due to site cache (this is cleared every few hours) or it may be caught by automated moderation / anti-spam.

NOTE 2: Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via known fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked or removed.
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Hyperoptic £19.95 (*22.00)
    Avg. Speed 50Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo Code: HYPER20
  • SSE £22.00
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Plusnet £22.50 (*35.98)
    Avg. Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £50 Reward Card
  • xln telecom £22.74 (*47.94)
    Avg. Speed 66Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Onestream £22.99 (*34.99)
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Prices inc. Line Rental | View All
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. BT (2743)
  2. FTTP (2675)
  3. FTTC (1769)
  4. Building Digital UK (1723)
  5. Politics (1633)
  6. Openreach (1596)
  7. Business (1404)
  8. FTTH (1330)
  9. Statistics (1225)
  10. Mobile Broadband (1195)
  11. Fibre Optic (1048)
  12. 4G (1028)
  13. Wireless Internet (1011)
  14. Ofcom Regulation (1004)
  15. Virgin Media (993)
  16. EE (679)
  17. Sky Broadband (663)
  18. TalkTalk (654)
  19. Vodafone (651)
  20. 5G (488)
Promotion
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact