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Gigaclear announces first Cotswold communities to get ultrafast fibre broadband

Thursday, August 27th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

The first Cotswold communities to get ultrafast broadband have been announced by gigabit provider Gigaclear.

Seven Springs in Cockleford will be the first community in the Cotswolds to benefit from the second phase of the Fastershire project, which is delivering the government’s broadband rollout in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.

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 Cockleford network will include the communities of Seven Springs, Coberley, Upper Coberley, Cowley, Stockwell, Elkstone and Colesbourne.

The installation will begin with Seven Springs in October, extending to other places within the project area; giving upload and download speeds to connected residents and businesses of up to 1Gbps by Christmas.

Coberley, Upper Coberley, Cowley, Stockwell, Cockleford, Elkstone and Colesbourne are also set to benefit once the rollout is complete for the first phase, during the first quarter of 2016.

Gigaclear chief executive Matthew Hare said: “We’re delighted to be able to reveal that Seven Springs in Cockleford is to be the first community in the Cotswolds to benefit from our ultrafast pure fibre broadband.

“This will give homes and businesses in the area a world-leading internet connection with speeds up to 40 times faster for downloads, and up to 300 times faster for uploads than the UK average.

“Working with local communities, landowners and the county council, we aim to minimise the impact on the local environment during the construction stage while we install this future-proofed, new telecommunications network.”

'Isolated'

In June, Cable.co.uk reported that Gloucestershire County Council had awarded Gigaclear the contract to give more than 6,000 homes Cotswolds premises access to 1Gbps speeds as part of phase two of the Fastershire project.

The deal was the first step in reaching beyond the 90% superfast broadband coverage delivered in phase one of the project.

It means that by the end of 2017, the communities of Guiting Power, Chedworth, Whelford, Bibury and Icomb will be among those with access to gigabit speeds.

The rollout of gigabit broadband to the Cotswolds will cost £10m, with £7m coming from private investment by Gigaclear and £3m from Fastershire’s Superfast Extension Programme (SEP).

It was the first time funds from a superfast extension programme (SEP) had been given to a bidder other than BT.

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: “Some of the county’s most isolated and difficult to reach areas will benefit from Fastershire’s new rollout in the Cotswolds.

“We know that residents are increasingly eager to see details on when they may be upgraded so I’m delighted to now publish the full list of premises included in the rollout.”

The full list of all premises included in Fastershire’s phase 2 broadband rollout in the Cotswolds is now available on its website and a full schedule for the delivery including the expected timeframe will be published later in September on the Gigaclear website.

As part of the rollout, Fastershire and Gigaclear will hold local events to give information and answer residents’ questions.

The events will be held on 29 and 30 September at Brimpsfield and Elkstone village halls respectively, both starting at 7.30pm.

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