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Gigaclear uses Clifton Suspension Bridge to bring fibre broadband to rural Bristol

Wednesday, May 2nd 2018 by Oprah Flash

Gigaclear is revolutionising the connectivity for rural villages near Bristol by using the historic Clifton Suspension Bridge to lay fibre optic broadband cables.

The main objective is to supply more than 53,000 homes and businesses in the area with ultrafast download speeds up to 1,000Mbps (1Gbps). By using the 19th century bridge, it will allow Gigaclear to take a direct route when supplying fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband which will ultimately provide access to download speeds 26 times faster than the national average.

Chris Booy, chairman of the Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust, said: “Not since 1935 has another utilities provider crossed the bridge directly, and we’re delighted to be helping Gigaclear bring this life-changing service to locals.

“By taking the direct route, there will be no disruption and is a win-win for everybody in the community. It’s amazing to see this monument of British engineering being utilised as a catalyst for modern infrastructure.”

‘Future-proof connectivity’

Clifton Suspension Bridge was erected more than 150 years ago. Construction started in 1831, but it wasn't opened to the public until 1864. At the time, it was a pioneering development that used revolutionary technology to link the Bristolian communities together.

Gigaclear's work in the area is already underway as part of the Connecting Devon and Somerset project. Residents in Abbots Leigh will be the first to have access to gigabit internet speeds from September this year.

Councillor Elfan Ap Rees, North Somerset Council’s deputy leader said: "We are keen to see our rural communities in North Somerset receiving better high speed broadband connections, especially for those who work from home. Anything therefore that brings that objective closer is welcome."

Matthew Hare, chief executive of Gigaclear said: “Gigaclear is using the best technology the 21st century can offer to move forgotten communities into the modern age. Our focus is to ensure that rural communities have access to the latest and very best quality broadband technology.

“This investment into the broadband infrastructure in Bristol and Somerset will ultimately help to drive the area’s digital economy, providing future-proof connectivity.”

Gigaclear has also confirmed plans to increase connectivity within rural areas across Berkshire, Devon, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, West Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Essex and Northamptonshire.

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