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Rural ISP Gigaclear Passes 500,000 UK Premises with Full Fibre

Friday, Sep 22nd, 2023 (9:39 am) - Score 2,448
Gigaclear-2023-Engineer-Working-on-Cabinet

Rural broadband ISP Gigaclear has today announced that they’ve achieved a key milestone by passing 500,000 premises across England with their gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network, which falls to 430,000 premises passed when only looking at those in a Ready for Service (RFS) state.

The operator, which is also home to over 80,000 customers (20th July 2023), had previously said that it aimed to expand the coverage of their full fibre network to 500,000 properties at some point in 2024 and then “over” 1 million premises by 2027. In raw footprint terms, this suggests that their network build is now technically running a little bit ahead of schedule, although 500K as an RFS figure still won’t be hit until 2024.

NOTE: The Infracapital and Equitix backed provider is supported by investment commitments estimated to be worth up to around £1.1bn (here).

Customers typically pay from £17 a month (£41.50 after 18-months) for a symmetric 200Mbps broadband package, which rises to £49 (£82 after 18-months) for their top 830Mbps plan. All packages include a wireless router and free installation.

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The Abingdon-based Communications Provider now employs more than 750 people across eight office locations, serving homes and businesses across 25 counties. But it’s worth pointing out that Gigaclear’s network is physically and geographically much larger than operators with a similar number of urban premises under their belt, which is due to the fact that rural areas require a lot more fibre to reach every property.

Back in June 2023 we estimated that Gigaclear’s pace of build was running at around 14,000 premises passed per month, and today’s data suggests they’re holding to that.

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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Comments
14 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Roger says:

    Well done Gigaclear!

  2. Avatar photo Alex says:

    So 430k then.

    If it’s not ready for service it’s not built yet!!

    1. Avatar photo Just Me says:

      Incorrect. It could be built but no backhaul. It may therefore have little value as it cant bring revenue but we cant say its not built. Connected customers in the end are all that matter, agreed.

    2. Avatar photo John says:

      If something ready for service, it is monetizable, so it is a good metric of performance

      The passed figure is completely meaningless. Some ISPs just use it to trick their investors

    3. Avatar photo Tom says:

      I’m in one of these “passed but not ready for service” areas. Gigaclear started building ages ago.. stuff is still taped to the bottom of poles (within reach), the cabinet is in, making noise and has already has graffiti on it.. yet no sign of being able to place an order beyond the two post codes closest to the cabinet. Even then the CBTs are still at the bottom of those poles!

      I suspect the rest of the village is part of their “homes passed” count yet if an order is still going to take months to complete it’s not really “passed” in my opinion.

      Nice marketing; shame the reality is different.

    4. Avatar photo Fastman says:

      close to 15% then not even able to order a service — a respected international network manager fro a global worldwide corporate tells of poor goings on Brill and long crendon where the media update locally is a far cry from the actuality of the ground and all seemms to be is claim the voucher and move on

      typical path of least resistance behaviour which is why uk broadband coverage map looks like an outbreak of measles — random bits and pieces strewn asunder

      spent quite a lot of time in excel earlier this week talking about this very subject

    5. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Much as I appreciate the appeal to authority with the last sentence mind sharing the solutions with us and, indeed, Gigaclear and BDUK?

      Without knowing the specific issues in those areas it’s difficult to judge, and if they’ve actually cashed in the vouchers without delivering service they’re committing fraud – a major thing you shouldn’t be writing on here or talking at Connected Britain about but going to the police.

      Combining path of least resistance, cherry picking all bar the toughest bits, with cashing in the vouchers for those toughest bits is illegal. Cherry picking on the vouchers is just playing the game and something any responsible provider would do to protect their investors.

      Blame the people who made the game, not those who play it.

  3. Avatar photo BookIT says:

    Been installing in my part of Essex for last year, I’m live and very happy as FTTC was very poor and no OR FTTP plan. But, many roads not covered yet that were included in their published plan and no sign of works for several weeks. This week many people received letter saying Gigaclear had reviewed plans and would not be installing in their road. So in m village some people can get 900/900 FTTP, while close by others are stuck on 25/10 FTTC no OR plan and only Starlink as a way forward.

    1. Avatar photo Me says:

      This is what really annoys me with these companies. They will make all these grand build plans to get planning approval to build the network, then they ‘review their plans’ soon after and suddenly cut half the homes from their original plans. Because it makes them more money that way, and you will be left praying another provider will come along or maybe Open Reach will build to you. They also take for ever to build their networks as they seem to rely heavily on local contractors.

    2. Avatar photo Bob says:

      What the true coverage is with Alt Nets is very hard to tell. There seems to be huge differences between the claims and reality. For how long investors will put money in for no return remains to be seen

      I suspect there will be an increasing g amount of price competition once the initial contract period is up with people looking for better deals

  4. Avatar photo Nick says:

    Not sure how RFS is defined. Gigaclear either use PIA where nothing is installed beyond the CBT (which they call an MST) until the customer orders. Or they install a microduct to the boundary which is extended inside and fibre blown back to the cabinet when the customer orders. Presumably RFS means that the fibre is lit to the CBT or cabinet port but there is still a fair bit of work (and with PIA, uncertainty about the state of the duct) before the revenue starts to flow.

  5. Avatar photo Lee B says:

    Gigaclear started their build in June in my villages, service went live for ordering services yesterday with installation dates being in 1 months time.

    Happy to finally be at the end of a very long tunnel to obtain a FTTP connection.

  6. Avatar photo Ian says:

    they’ve built half way up our road , a cul-de-sac, I’m at the end. Two people in the middle part are rumoured to have ordered, the end of the dig stops at the last one’s house. Not sure why they didn’t dig the whole way along the street whilst they had the wayleave (being a cul-de-sac the road was almost closed off). am I counted as passed or RFS? I dunno…
    I do not like the look of their “after 18 months the price will at least double” type of contracts, that alone makes me for the moment stick with a combo of VDSL (30M) and LTE with CA on a quality antenna (80M+) (having the two of course gives me resilience). If they were flat fee forever, I’d be tempted.

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