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Gigaclear Build Full Fibre to 10,000 West Oxfordshire Premises

Wednesday, December 16th, 2020 (2:18 pm) - Score 1,200
gigaclear_rural_fttp_trench

Broadband ISP Gigaclear has confirmed that more than 10,000 homes and businesses across West Oxfordshire (England) can now access their 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network, which also reflects the near completion of their state aid funded contract with the West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC).

The deployment actually reflects two complementary projects that began in late 2017 (here). The first project stemmed from a plan to bring full fibre to 4,800 properties, jointly funded by WODC and Building Digital UK (BDUK) programme to the tune of £3.1m, with Gigaclear adding £5m from their own pockets. The second was the provider’s own £8m commercial deployment to 6,200 homes in the area.

The original expectation was that this would also help to extend “superfast broadband” (30Mbps+) coverage to 99% of premises in the district and they do seem to have achieved that, albeit a little bit later than planned (we previously expected this to be finished by Q1 2020). But then they may have ended up covering a few hundred more premises than originally announced.

Despite this BDUK reported in June 2020 that take-up within the related Phase 2 intervention area was currently only running at 14.1%, but that should continue to rise and, crucially, it doesn’t include Gigaclear’s own commercial build in the area.

Celina Joiner, Programme Manager at Gigaclear, said:

“This is a fantastic achievement for us as a business, connecting those communities who need our service the most. In order to build our network, we’ve dug over 550,000 metres of trenching which equates to 342 miles – that’s the same as driving from Oxford to Paris – so no mean feat.

COVID-19 has really underlined the importance of reliable broadband to live and work effectively from home and we’re proud to bring it to the most underserved areas of the UK, where other providers simply aren’t willing to go to.”

West Oxfordshire has been historically underserved by major FTTP broadband providers, not least due to the complexities and significant costs of undertaking such a large infrastructure project in a rural environment. Gigaclear and its contractors have now managed to overcome this, but they still had to work with heavy duty equipment, all while carefully navigating small roads, rivers, and rail crossings.

Apparently the work in West Oxfordshire with the District Council and BDUK is expected to be fully completed by “early next year” (there’s a few little bits left), although Gigaclear intend to continue their own commercial investment in order to reach a little bit further if they can.

Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. Avatar William Wilkinson says:

    How I long for the day when I get faster broadband. I’ll probably be the last person in the country.

    1. Avatar David Powell says:

      Me too. Gigaclear had accepted my order for their 300 Mbps service & were within months of connecting us when Connecting Devon & Somerset cancelled their contract in Sept 2019. After 3 years of promises from GC & CDS there are now no plans to move us beyond the unreliable 1 Mbps ADSL service we have had since 2005. I have tried the USO route: BT have quoted £32,000. Gigaclear apologised. CDS won’t answer my emails.

  2. Avatar Randy says:

    Does gigaclear only work in millionaire commuter towns then ?

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