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Gigaclear Invest GBP13m to Bring 1Gb Broadband to Dorset UK

Tuesday, December 7th, 2021 (7:34 am) - Score 1,200
Gigaclear-Engineer-Measuring-Distance

Alternative network ISP Gigaclear has announced that they’re investing £13m to begin an expansion of their gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network into rural parts of Dorset (Southern England), which is expected to reach over 18,000 premises (mostly homes and some businesses) across the region.

At present Gigaclear’s network already claims to cover over 240,000 premises in England, and they’re aiming to reach 500,000 UK properties by the end of 2023. The operator, which is being backed by Infracapital, last year secured some £525m worth of debt financing to support these expansion plans (here).

Until now, the provider has generally tended to operate a bit further north than Dorset, although they do have some deployments across the neighbouring Devon and Somerset counties. The first locations to benefit from this expansion will include Stalbridge, Sherborne, Blandford Forum, Colehill, Sturminster Marshall and Lytchett Matravers.

Assuming all goes to plan, then the expansion of Gigaclear’s full fibre network to these communities is “expected to be completed” across 2022.

Jo Scarrott, South West General Manager at Gigaclear, said:

“Fast broadband speeds are a necessity for a modern economy. The way in which we live and work depends on the internet, something that has been sharply underlined by the pandemic. We believe in digital inclusion for all and we’re excited to bring our network to more people so they can enjoy the life-changing benefits that come with world-leading connectivity.

Dorset is a completely new area for us but given our build activity in neighbouring Somerset and Wiltshire, this move simply made sense. Work is already underway, and we can’t wait to connect those suffering from inadequate broadband provision to our ultrafast network. It really will transform the lives of so many in the region.”

Cllr Jill Haynes, Dorset Council, said:

“I welcome the commercial investment made by Gigaclear to improve the broadband speeds for residents and businesses in Dorset. The pandemic has really highlighted the importance of having access to ultrafast broadband to support education, businesses, working from home, as well as entertainment and we’re delighted that thousands of premises in the county will benefit.”

As usual, Gigaclear won’t be alone in targeting rural parts of Dorset with a gigabit-capable network. For example, Openreach (BT) have Blandford (aka – Blandford Forum) on their FTTP rollout plan and so does Wessex Internet. Blandford is fairly small and home to just 11,000 people, so it becomes increasingly difficult to see how such locations may be able to sustain three rival networks of this class, and fortune may favour the fastest build.

Nevertheless, new customers can currently expect to pay from £49 per month for a symmetric speed 300Mbps package (currently discounted at £24 for the first 18-months of service) and free installation, which rises to £79 for their top 900Mbps plan (currently discounted at £49). But these prices and packages seem to be in constant flux, so they may change by the time Gigaclear’s network actually starts to go live.

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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.
Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. AnotherTim says:

    Gigaclear are always optimistic with their schedules – apparently this build is “expected to be completed across 2022″.
    Their build in my area “started” in 2016, was due to be complete by the end of 2018, and yet there is still no date for when it will actually go live.
    At least these new areas will have alternative networks unlike my area.

  2. Mark says:

    Thank you for reporting this, super excited to finally be getting FTTP. Once the network is built I presume you can go with whichever provider you like? It hasn’t got to he Gigaclear? Although their prices are pretty the same as everyone else’s and they offer uncapped usage.

  3. Bruce Ballard says:

    An interesting rollout – I did a bit of a “where is going Live” search and they appear to be targetting only Blandford Forum itself and not the surrounding villages, which seems silly as both Openreach’s FTTP and Wessex Internet are tragetting the same area

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