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Gigaclear boss: Not long until everyone has ultrafast broadband

Tuesday, November 10th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

Ultrafast speeds will be in every home “in the not too distant future”, the founder of a gigabit broadband provider has predicted.

Gigaclear CEO Matthew Hare compared ultrafast speeds to “running water”, saying once people have experienced them, they struggle to manage without them.

“Making, building, designing, advising and marketing anything just works better with improved access to information,” he told Cable.co.uk.

“The better the underlying speed, the better we work.

“So really, ultrafast speeds are like having running water in your home – once you’ve got it, you don’t know how you ever managed without it.

“At some point in the not too distant future, like running water, nobody will be without ultrafast internet access.”

Earlier this week, the government announced plans to introduce a new Universal Service Obligation (USO) which will give people the legal right to request a connection of 10Mbps no matter where they live.

Asked where Gigaclear would be in a year’s time, Mr Hare said the company’s internet footprint of 1,000Mbps speeds will be four times its current size.

He also predicted that Virgin Media – which recently boosted its speeds – will offer top speeds of 500Mbps download and 50Mbps upload, while BT will have launched its first commercial version of G.fast technology, with speeds up to 300Mbps, in central London.

Gigaclear, which has won three BDUK tenders, in Gloucestershire, West Berkshire and Essex, recently said that it is on track for a “record year”, after already delivering fibre to twice as many properties as last year.

Mr Hare attributed the company’s success to a focus on delivering better access to both consumers and businesses.

“The demand is for faster speeds, predictability, reliability, symmetry and clarity.

'Dominant player'

“By focusing on delivering these things, Gigaclear is adding customers at record rates every week.”

He predicted that BT will remain the dominant player in the telecoms market for many years, but said each new network built by an alternative provider takes the UK broadband landscape a step away from that scenario.

“BT is still by far the dominant player in the UK telecommunications market and it will be many, many years before that changes,” Mr Hare said.

“With every new alternative network project built we get closer to the day where customers can choose which network infrastructure they take their communications services from.

“As all the new networks are internet by default, building a single solution based on multiple network infrastructures is straightforward.”

Mr Hare's comments echo those of Mark Collins, director of strategy and public affairs at gigabit infrastructure provider CityFibre, who told Cable.co.uk last year that the UK's alternative providers could join forces to rival BT.

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