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Rural UK ISP Gigaclear Launch 500Mbps Broadband at GBP27

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021 (3:12 pm) - Score 1,416
Gigaclear-female-engineer

Rural broadband provider Gigaclear, which has already built a gigabit speed Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network across 230,000 premises in England, has launched a “new” 500Mbps package and until 30th September 2021 this will be discounted to just £27 per month for 18 months (£59 thereafter).

The operator, which aims to cover 500,000 UK properties by 2023, has grown a tendency to play musical chairs with their various broadband packages and discounts, as such it’s become a little difficult to know what their standard tiers are underneath (because they’re always changing). For example, the middle tier slot being occupied by their new or temporary 500Mbps plan has previously been 300Mbps, 400Mbps and 600Mbps.

In any case, all of their packages continue to include a wireless router (you also get a mesh system included), as well as an 18-month minimum contract term and unlimited usage. The other packages are a 300Mbps service for £29 per month (£49 after 18 months) or 900Mbps for £49 (£79 thereafter).

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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.
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22 Responses
  1. Alex E says:

    We are lucky enough to be in a Gigaclear covered area. We signed up for their 100Mbs service earlier this year and it does deliver speed with very low latency. The upstream with Gigaclear is symmetric and seems to be over-provisioned by 10%.

    If you can get them, well worth it in our experience.

    1. Lincombe says:

      We are on the gigaclear network and I agree with your observations on performance. The constant changes to packages just annoys long term loyal customers. Till now we have had no choice; however with 5G rolling our in parts of Oxfordshire that is changing, lets hope they start to treat all of their customers fairly in the future and stop overcharging the long term loyal customers……

  2. AnotherTim says:

    This is the fourth set of speeds/prices they have advertised this month.
    In my opinion they would do better to actually connect the rural areas they have started building to under BDUK schemes – that way they would have a larger reachable customer base. Instead they seem intent on competing in areas with cheap FTTC already in place.
    Also, if they do ever get around to going live in my area I’ll be waiting for the cheap offer rather than the default offer they make to new areas.

  3. AnotherTim says:

    They also need to do something about their eye-watering business prices.

    1. Ia says:

      It’s around £80+vat a month or so right? I imagine most businesses can easily spend that.. are they coming to your area soon?

    2. AnotherTim says:

      Gigaclear are currently building in the Forest of Dean – originally it was due to be completed by the end of 2018. Some areas are starting to go live now – mainly the more built-up areas with FTTC which they are building commercially. The BDUK areas with poor ADSL are still waiting. I now have a POT outside our property, but the most recent target date I’ve been given for connection is end Q1 2022 (they want to connect the FTTC areas first).
      There are lots of small businesses in my area – many are seasonal leisure businesses (e,g, small campsites etc.). For me £100+ pm is ~15% of annual turnover – so isn’t viable. It is cheaper to use 4G for business, so I’ll probably stick to that unless Gigaclear allow business use of a residential connection.

    3. AnotherTim says:

      The other point to make about Gigaclear’s business pricing is that their cheapest (£100+pm) oackage is 100Mbps, while their cheapest retail package is £49pm (£24pm for the first 18 months) for 300Mbps. For the difference you get a VAT receipt.
      Their 900Mbps package is £570pm – which is heading towards leased line prices, but without the SLA.

    4. Ia says:

      Tim,

      Have you asked Gigaclear about if they will let you use a residential connection for business use at the site?

      When I last looked the issue centred around if it was a business ‘address’ and if so then you could only order business services. I’m sure there was probably also a condition about not using residential for business use – but worth asking?

      If you’re VAT registered then surely it is still only ~80 +VAT, if you’re not i guess you don’t need the VAT receipt?

      I think they do also offer much lower contention and also have the option of buying static IPs and so on with the business packages.

    5. AnotherTim says:

      Yes I’ve asked Gigaclear, but I haven’t had a response yet. Previous questions have taken 2-3 months to get a reply, so I may still have a while to wait. Their T&Cs don’t allow it, but they don’t make explicit exactly what they consider to be a business – i.e. whether it is any commercial activity at all, or VAT registered businesses.
      I’m so far below the VAT threshold I don’t need a VAT invoice, a static IPv4 address costs £2pm (IPv6 are not available), and the other differences are contention at 10:1 rather than 25:1, and a 1 working day (i.e. Mon-Fri) fault response rather than 3 working days.

    6. AnotherTim says:

      A complicating factor is that my address is registered for both residential council tax and business rates. So if the criteria is whether a property is registered for business rates then that may be a blocker.

    7. Bonne says:

      Residential customers are supplied with VAT invoices ! Not sure they can demand a business pays more for the same service???

  4. Chris says:

    Discounted until 30 Sep 21. Only a week!!

  5. John says:

    Gigaclear have done a fantastic job building network. Certainly one of the most active. But standards needs to be put in place to help the consumer.

    Alternative FTTP providers are just creating small monopolies. All of them have various pricing, which seems to increase after initial term.

    Given data profiles are software defined, there should a standard package structure across all FullFibre and this should opened up for wholesale.

    Gigaclear have done a fantastic job building network. Certainly one of the most active.

  6. Winston Smith says:

    As I understand it, Gigaclear are a private company and built this network with private money.

    As such they can charge what they wish and customers have the choice to take it or leave it. Similarly the government has no mandate to impose any wholesale conditions.

    1. Winston Smith says:

      The above was meant as a reply to John.

    2. Ui says:

      Totally agree. Where they have taken gov money there is a wholesale condition.

      We don’t go around saying the government should force our local village shop to sell milk at the same price as big tesco because they have a “little monopoly”. No idea why we do for broadband.. the flipside of the high prices is that it costs them about 2X the capital per prem passed than if they were in a city.

  7. Eccles says:

    Gigiaclear do provide wholesale access and have done for a while. You just need to connect to one of their NNI’s in Telehouse or Slough.
    Not all of their network has been built with private funding, they have had a fair few BDUK contracts!

    1. Ui says:

      Sort of. Wholesale pricing is often more expensive than retail.

    2. AnotherTim says:

      Currently Gigaclear are offering 300Mbps to residential customers for £24pm (inc VAT) and for £26+VAT to wholesale customers. It will be hard to make a sale if you are a reseller.

    3. Ui says:

      Yes, the reseller will also need to pay Gigaclear for activation, supply the Wifi routers, pay for support, bandwidth, payment processing, risk factor, rackspace/core routers etc.

      Also worth bearing in mind the 300Mb as advertised by Gigaclear is actually more like 320Mbps as they over provision on home packages.. whereas at wholesale it is 300Mb fixed (so can only really be advertised with a average speed of ~280Mbps).

      Considering all of this it would be hard for a reseller to sell for less than about £45 a month plus a activation fee. The wholesale rate is not regulated so it’s a rigged game really.

  8. Gary says:

    Can’t be a good price point to recover the investment.

    We’re constantly being told fibre is so very expensive to deploy and so much so, less dense areas just aren’t viable yet at the same time the operators are in a race to the bottom on price to the customer, or somewhat more cynically the alleged costs of providing the higher bandwidth connections has been over played resulting in a nice little earner while it lasted.

    1. Ia says:

      It’s a fine price point tbh. Bear in mind they are also selling 1G connections, business connections and are making more from users who bought in at a higher price or who are past thier minimum term. This is all about segmentation, this captures the highly price sensitive%elastic users, the larger packages and higher standard rates capture the majority.

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