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Gigaclear Home 1000 unlimited broadband review

Thursday, November 5th 2015

Many rural communities have long been out of the loop when it comes to broadband, and for residents in some towns and villages, getting online is an impossibility. Enter Gigaclear: a provider offering a rural broadband scheme to get these communities online with some of the fastest fibre optic broadband speeds in the UK.

The ‘Gig’ in Gigaclear refers to the top download speed available from the provider – a colossal 1,000Mbps. This might blow the competition out of the water, but how does the package perform overall? For the definitive answer, here is everything you need to know about Gigaclear Home 1000 unlimited broadband.

Cable.co.uk overall rating
3.8

Rural areas have long been starved of decent broadband. Gigaclear has the potential to solve this issue with unlimited usage and some of the fastest commercially available download speeds in the Western world – up to 1,000Mbps. It’s primarily available to rural communities, however, so not everyone will benefit.

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Speed & usage

Rating

5

Along with its focus on helping rural communities, the other big selling point for Gigaclear is the speed. Gigaclear provides one of the fastest broadband services in Europe, not just the UK, boasting download and upload speeds of up to 1,000Mbps.

On its website, Gigaclear suggests that a 1,000Mbps connection will let you watch catch up TV, download digital books, and read an online newspaper. These suggestions are modest, at best. In reality, a download speed of 1,000Mbps will let you stream over 180 high definition films at the same time. Let’s put it another way. By signing up to Gigaclear Home 1000 unlimited broadband, you would have the bandwidth to operate an entire chain of multiplex cinemas showing a dozen films at once, and still be able to read your newspaper online.

Unlimited usage is standard across all Gigaclear broadband products. There’s no traffic management or fair usage policy either, so you can download and upload as much as you want without restriction.

Advertised download speed Up to 1Gb (1,000Mbps)
Average downloads (off-peak) n/a
Average downloads (peak) n/a
Advertised upload speed Up to 1000Mbps
Monthly usage limit No
Traffic management No
Static IP Optional
Minimum contract 15 months
Router Gigabit fibre router
Public wi-fi No
Prices from £74 per month
Info

Scroll horizontally for more information.

What you can do with it

Advertised

Actual

*Average speeds are not available from Ofcom at this time.

Call plan

Rating

4

Gigaclear does not use your existing phone line to supply any of its services. There are no line rental costs involved, but it also means you cannot have a traditional home phone installed alongside your Gigaclear broadband. If you have a good mobile signal in your area, this may not pose a problem. Alternatively, there is another option to make those all-important calls.

Gigaclear recommends signing up for Vonage, an online Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service. You can do this online or by calling Vonage on 0808 1789620. Vonage plans start at £8 per month and come with unlimited free calls to UK landlines.

You can use your existing telephone with Vonage. When you sign up you can request an analogue telephone adapter. This connects to your broadband router and creates a standard telephone socket for your landline phone. Gigaclear’s installers can do this for you.

Extras

Rating

3

For those in rural areas, the presence of extra features will be largely superfluous to the simple knowledge that they can now get online. Nevertheless, Gigaclear does offer a few extra services with its home broadband package.

A static IP can be added to your broadband plan for free. This creates an unchanging address for your home network, and is generally only of use to technically-minded users who want to run home servers or remote access CCTV systems. You can also purchase an extra eight IP addresses for £12.50 per month.

Parental controls can also be added to your Gigaclear subscription. These controls give you the reassurance of being able to monitor and limit the websites and content that your children can access on the web.

Finally, Gigaclear supplies a router for free. This router is required to get online and can be further enhanced with the addition of analogue telephone adapters for compatibility with your existing home phone.

Value for money is a complex issue with a Gigaclear package. If it is your only viable option for a reliable broadband connection, then you are limited in your options. At £74 per month, you get a screamingly fast Home 1000 broadband plan and don't need to pay line rental, which is required by all other fibre broadband providers except Virgin Media.

Another downside in the value for money stakes is the cost of initial installation. There’s a £100 connection fee, and you may have to pay at least an additional £95 for a Boxcom engineer to come out and set everything up. You can install your broadband yourself if you feel up to it (Gigaclear suggests that anyone with a drill is more than capable), but if you’re physically unable then the additional cost might be an issue.

It’s worth reiterating that if Gigaclear is your only rural broadband option, it presents an affordable way to get online. The speeds of up to 1000Mbps are extreme, making you the envy of every other broadband user in the country, but you are paying for that privilege. This is the top-end Gigaclear package, and the price reflects that.

Gigaclear doesn’t rely on existing infrastructure at street level. All its broadband products are fibre-to-the-home (FTTH/FTTP) and require a direct connection to your property. This involves significantly more work than getting online with a traditional broadband provider. You may need to have your front drive or lawn dug up for cabling, and you may need a few minor changes to your property to allow physical installation.

Gigaclear claims that its contractors will strive to ‘make good’ as much as possible, and reinstatement of flowerbeds and planted areas can be arranged if significant work is required. Gigaclear aims to make the installation process straightforward, providing an installation kit and several guides to the procedure.

A free router is included with your Gigaclear broadband. It features four 1,000Mbps ports for Ethernet connections. It also supports wireless capacity for downloads of up to 150Mbps on wi-fi devices such as tablets and smartphones.

Gigaclear Router

Overall Rating

3.8

Gigaclear Home 1000 unlimited broadband is an ideal rural broadband solution. However, it isn’t available through traditional routes and your community must have more than 400 properties to be considered. The high download and upload speeds are some of the fastest in Europe and are far beyond the UK average. One drawback is the price. It’s relatively expensive to install, and the monthly fees are higher than those on packages from the more mainstream broadband providers.

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