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5,000 Herefordshire UK Premises in Ledbury to Get 1Gb Fibre

Thursday, October 1st, 2020 (2:14 pm) - Score 1,656
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A new deal between the state aid supported Fastershire project, rural broadband ISP Gigaclear and rival network builder FullFibre looks set to result in 5,000 premises across the Herefordshire town of Ledbury gaining access to a gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network.

At present the Fastershire project, which harnesses various different contracts with Openreach (BT), Gigaclear, Airband, FullFibre Ltd and Glide (among others), expects to extend “superfast broadband” (30Mbps+) coverage to over 97% of properties in both counties by late 2022 (so far the combined coverage figure is just 92%, while 26% of properties in Herefordshire can already access ultrafast FTTP broadband).

Only a few months ago Gigaclear announced a major expansion of their deployment across the two regions (here), which will see them cover 110,000 premises with FTTP (currently c.35,000). The latest announcement will certainly help to achieve that goal, although there’s no mention of how much the Ledbury deployment will cost or when it’s due to complete.

Jamie Flint, Gigaclear’s Regional General Manager, said:

“We are pleased to be working with Full Fibre Limited and will be using new build methods that will enable us to reach over 5,000 premises in the Ledbury area. In extending our network to this area, we will be making use of existing infrastructure here possible, which will help ensure we are able to minimise disruption to residents.

Once completed, people in Ledbury will be able to enjoy access to our ultrafast full fibre network, which has the capability of providing speeds of up to a gigabit per second – a massive improvement on what is currently available in this area!”

Oliver Helm, CEO of FullFibre Limited, said:

“As specialists in market town fibre deployments we know how vital and transformative great connectivity can be to communities like Ledbury, but also how important it is to reduce disruption as far as possible whilst we do so.

Over the coming months our teams will be out on the ground planning and building this new network and working with the community to do so as smoothly as possible.”

In terms of competition, the fastest fixed line rival in the town is Openreach, which has already deployed a fair bit of their 300Mbps capable hybrid fibre G.fast technology across the area. As for the cost of all this, if we assume that the operators are likely to face a cost per premises of up to £1,000 in such a location then a bill of £3-5m is perhaps not unrealistic. We suspect they’ll also want to complete it within c.24 months.

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12 Responses
  1. Avatar AnotherTim says:

    I do hope Gigaclear’s commercial builds won’t delay the BDUK builds that are already very delayed. As they now have twice as many properties in plan as they have achieved to date in the Fastershire areas, it could take some time…

  2. Avatar 1pf says:

    I really hope they complete the areas already significantly behind build before starting other areas especially as we do not even have 1 decent provider let alone adding another. Same as in Longhope where BT/OR (as was) got the contract, installed and then Gigaclear also installed…

    1. Avatar AnotherTim says:

      Yes, I am concerned that it appears that Gigaclear are now concentrating on commercial builds, and BDUK builds are coincidental rather than a priority. With the FoD still having 15% of poperties with no superfast options there is a lot of work to do.
      Gigaclear do now have planned works in Beachley, Sedbury, and Tutshill due to start over the next 5 or 6 months, but most properties in those areas already have FTTC available so it won’t significantly reduce the sub-superfast numbers. Meanwhile the more outlying areas such as Stroat and Brookend which are sub-USO still have no planned works (although there has at least been reports of some surveying).

  3. Avatar Dean says:

    Seems the only place in Herefordshire you won’t be able to get gigabit fibre is Hereford itself! Quite laughable really.

    1. Avatar Bromyardian says:

      I’m here in Bromyard desperate for it… we’ve become a real copper island!

    2. Avatar AnotherTim says:

      I thought I’d heard that Bromyard had superfast FTTC some time ago? And checking ThinkBroadband I see there is some FTTP too – and no sub-USO postcodes, unlike much of the FoD.

    3. Avatar Buggerlugz says:

      Bromyardian, regarding that story the other day about copper thefts, I wonder what BT do when this happens? Replace it all with fibre?

      I wonder if that’s got anything to do with the copper thefts lately?

    4. Avatar Bromyardian says:

      @AnotherTim There’s one cab that serves quite far North of the town that has had FTTP deployed, other than that it’s all FTTC which provides a decent service as you’ve alluded to. I think my point and the point made by the original poster is that large swathes of rural Herefordshire have full fibre available now in some form and that the disparity in connection speed has flipped so that you can get better speeds in the rural areas than many of the towns, maybe bar Leominster which already has a Full Fibre deployment.

      This article suggests that a large part of Ledbury will now be gaining full fibre which is likely to include a good amount of G.Fast overbuild, so soon enough we will reach a point where a good FTTC speed looks naff in the county’s statistics.

  4. Avatar Marcos Gilson says:

    OFF SUBJECT – BUT can anyone help me here. I am trying to establish if CITY FIBRE are about to roll out in COLCHESTER, ESSEX. They have recently competed nearby IPSWICH and SOUTHEND as GIG Cities. I am failing to get an answer from CITY FIBRE. Colchester Council does have it’s one dark web roll out but I can help this will take an absolute age. CITY FIBRE are rumoured to be hitting the town, but I am unable to get this confirmed. help anyone

    1. Avatar AnotherTim says:

      It is usually difficult to gain information about builds – they like to keep commercially sensitive information private. However, one of the sources is one.network which shows roadworks up to a year ahead (though usually only a couple of months before they start).
      I can’t currently see any CityFibre works planned there. There are still CityFibre works showing in Ipswich.

  5. Avatar Stephen Sharpe says:

    Gigaclear were supposed to come to Cliffords Mesne butnothing whatever has been done – we are still stick with 1.5mps bt copper and its proving almost impossible working from home during the Covid crisis. Please can someone else take over the contract.

    1. Avatar AnotherTim says:

      According to Fastershire’s website work is due to start in Cliffords Mesne in Q4 2020 (i.e. now), but I expect that date is like the ones in my area that keep slipping – but if you ask they will insist it is accurate until after that date has passed, then they change the date. With the emphasis seemingly now on commercial builds in more built up areas I expect you, like many others, will have a while longer to wait…

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