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'Life-changing' fibre broadband project gets underway in Cotswolds

Monday, October 26th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

Ultrafast provider Gigaclear has started work to provide fibre to the premises (FTTP) broadband to hard-to-reach areas in the Cotswolds.

The company has started the first stage of digging in the Cotswolds as part of its contract to help deliver phase 2 of Fastershire’s broadband rollout.

Gigaclear, which installs ultrafast broadband networks in rural communities, uses fibre to the premises technology – bypassing BT’s copper network – and is funded by private investors.

The gigabit provider was awarded the contract to deliver FTTP broadband to some of the area’s hardest-to-reach communities as part of phase 2 of the Fastershire project, which is delivering the government’s broadband rollout in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.

It means more than 6,000 homes and businesses in the Cotswolds will get access to 1Gbps speeds.

Work has begun in Badgeworth as part of construction of a 10km track for the rollout’s first cabinet.

Communities in Coberley, Upper Coberley, Cockleford, Colesbourne, Cowley, Elkstone, Seven Springs and Stockwell will have access to Gigaclear’s broadband service before Christmas 2015; with a total of 6,495 Cotswold premises due to get access to speeds up to 1Gbps by the end of 2017.

Gigaclear chief executive Matthew Hare said: “We have taken the first step to build a new Gigabit broadband network across the Cotswolds.

“This will be a life changing project for many people living and working here with poor broadband service.

“Gigaclear is proud that our new ultrafast pure fibre broadband will deliver performance up to 40 times faster than the UK average to thousands of homes and businesses in 2016 and 2017.

'Isolated areas'

“Working with Gloucestershire County Council, we aim to keep disruption to a minimum during this initial construction stage as we install this new, futureproof telecommunications network.”

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: “Fastershire was the first national broadband project to secure Gigaclear as a provider in order to bring faster broadband to the most difficult and isolated areas.

“This first area will see ultrafast results from Gigaclear’s work and the first residents will be able to place an order for their new service before Christmas, barely more than two months after digging has started here on Greenway Lane.”

Last week Gigaclear announced it is on track for a record year, after already delivering fibre to twice as many properties as last year.

The company said that so far this year, it has delivered gigabit broadband to 10,000 homes and businesses, with a take-up of nearly 40%.

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