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Cotswolds pub gets 'record-breaking' broadband speed boost

Thursday, December 17th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

A Cotswolds pub has become the first business to get ultrafast broadband as part of a rollout by gigabit provider Gigaclear.

Punters at the Green Dragon Inn in Cowley can download a full-length HD film quicker than the time it takes to pull a pint of Guinness after receiving its ultrafast pure fibre connection.

The pub is the first business to go live under the Fastershire Phase 2 broadband scheme, delivered by Gigaclear in partnership with Gloucestershire County Council.

The project is the result of a £7m investment from Gigaclear and £3m national funding from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and Gloucestershire County Council.

Fastershire, which is delivering the government’s broadband rollout in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire, was the first project in the country to appoint a provider other than BT under the government-subsidised scheme.

The contract, which was awarded to Gigaclear in June , will see ultrafast pure fibre broadband taken to around 6,500 homes and businesses across the Cotswolds by the end of 2017.

The arrival of ultrafast speeds at the Green Dragon marks the start of Gigaclear’s pure fibre rollout to thousands of homes and businesses in the area.

Tests of the connection achieved download and upload speeds of up to 950Mbps.

Simon Haly and wife Nicky (pictured), who manage the pub, said: "We never expected to get anything like this so quickly, especially as we're right in the middle of the countryside.

“Historically we've hardly had any speed at all; it has been like dial-up. So to go from that to this level of record-breaking speed is incredible.”

He said the high-speed connection would have a big impact as 10-20% of the pub’s trade is business-related.

'Absolutely essential'

“We've nine guest rooms and two function rooms,” Mr Haly added. “Being able to better serve this community is really important.

“In fact we had a big business customer say that they'd no longer be able to use us for their meetings if our broadband didn't improve - and that was a year's worth of bookings. So this development today is fantastic news."

The rollout will continue with residents in Coberley, Upper Coberley, Cockleford, Colesbourne, Cowley, Elkstone, Seven Springs and Stockwell, set to have access to Gigaclear’s ultrafast service before Christmas.

Gigaclear CEO Matthew Hare said: “This is an extremely exciting time for Gigaclear and for the residents and businesses of the Cotswolds.

“Providing the Green Dragon Inn with access to the UK’s fastest broadband will make it an even more appealing venue for accommodation, events and socialising.”

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said Fastershire’s partnership with Gigaclear was producing ultrafast results just eight weeks after the first digging began.

He said he was looking forward to seeing how local residents and businesses take advantage of the benefits of better broadband.

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, MP for the Cotswolds, said: “I welcomed this partnership when it was announced, having campaigned during the general election on the issue of broadband connectivity in the Cotswolds, which is absolutely essential is the modern world.

“I look forward to many more announcements of this kind.”

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