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UK's first government-funded ultrafast broadband cabinet goes live

Thursday, December 10th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Gloucestershire’s first ultrafast broadband cabinet has been activated – giving residents the chance to get fibre in time for Christmas.

Cotswold communities including Cockleford, Coberley and Cowley will be able to benefit from speeds up to 1,000Mbps.

Earlier this year Gloucestershire County Council awarded a contract to Gigaclear to give fibre to the premises (FTTP) broadband access to more than 6,500 Cotswolds premises.

The contract, which forms part of the Fastershire project, was the first of its kind in the UK to be awarded to a provider other than BT.

The first cabinet ‘going live’ comes less than two months after work started on Phase 2 of the Fastershire programme and is the first ultrafast cabinet to go live in the UK as part of a government-funded national project.

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: “We are proud to be leading the way and running on time for Phase 2 of the government’s superfast broadband programme.

“I look forward to the first Gloucestershire residents enjoying the benefits of ultrafast broadband before Christmas.”

Fastershire appointed Gigaclear as delivery partner for its second phase in June, and the rollout budget includes £3m from the project’s government-funded Superfast Extension Programme (SEP) and £7m from Gigaclear.

Gigaclear CEO Matthew Hare said: “This is the first ultrafast cabinet of many that will deliver blistering fast broadband to the residents and business of the Cotswold District in Gloucestershire.

“Installing a new, pure fibre communications network with internet speeds up to 1,000Mbps will really transform the work, play, entertainment and communications experience for all our customers in the area.

“And in the long term, the pure fibre network will mean that the community has a future proof network that will not need updating over time as their broadband requirements grow.”

Digital minister Ed Vaizey said: “Our rollout of superfast broadband has already reached more than 50,000 homes and businesses in Gloucestershire, and more than 3.5m premises across the UK.

“Gigaclear's ultrafast cabinet will transform broadband speeds in the Cotswolds and I congratulate the Fastershire project on their success to date.”

Phase 1 of the Fastershire project, in partnership with BT, has already delivered faster broadband to more than 14,000 premises in the Cotswolds area, and more than 50,000 homes and businesses in Gloucestershire can now benefit from improved broadband speeds.

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