The fast speeds are achieved by having fibre connection right to the premises
Remote communities in deepest Devon and Somerset can now get the fastest broadband in the UK. Ultrafast rural broadband provider Gigaclear2 has installed pure broadband cabinets in the Blackdown Hills – the first in the region. It means that surrounding properties will get direct fibre broadband with internet speeds of up to 1,000Mbps for both uploads as well as downloads, the downloads being up to 33 times faster than the UK average – that’s better than anything you can get in Exeter or Plymouth without paying through the nose.
Joe Frost, Business Development Director at Gigaclear, said: “This marks the start of a hugely exciting time for residents and businesses who live and work across The Blackdown Hills. The area is now at the centre of the largest pure fibre broadband network deployment planned in the UK, which includes the BDUK contracts awarded to Gigaclear for areas within the Connecting Devon and Somerset rollout. The first customers in the Blackdown Hills will be able to benefit from up to 1,000Mbps for uploads and downloads within approximately 12 weeks, ending the frustrations from slow, unreliable and unpredictable rural broadband. This purely fibre based communications infrastructure will future-proof all those connected giving a giant leap forward for those who relish living and working in rural Devon and Somerset.”
Gigaclear is investing approximately ?2.5 million in the Blackdown Hills area to deliver ultrafast broadband to 2,000 properties as part of the company’s commercial rollout strategy.The first cabinets have now been installed in the village of Churchinford and parish of Upottery, meaning that homes and businesses in these areas will be among the first in Devon to be connected to a 1,000Mbps ultrafast fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network.
Graham Long, Upottery Parish Councillor, said: “Fast broadband is an essential utility for all modern businesses and families. In October 2014, Upottery Parish was told by BT that superfast (24Mbps) broadband could be supplied to the Parish if residents were prepared to pay ?500,000 to have a fibre cable laid to the BT cabinet in the centre of Upottery. Today, thanks to Gigaclear, residents in our parish, including Rawridge, Upottery and Smeatharpe will soon be able to access up to 1,000Mbps pure fibre broadband without any contribution to the network build costs. There is no question that access to Gigaclear’s state-of-the-art fibre technology will help secure the future economy of these and other Blackdown Hills villages.”
Cllr Andrew Leadbetter, Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth for Devon County Council, added: “This full fibre project will deliver a tremendous boost to the broadband speeds of residents and businesses across the Blackdown Hills. It will be instrumental in driving growth and will deliver a welcome boost to the local economy. I’m very pleased to see independent suppliers like Gigaclear making significant investments in world class broadband infrastructure in rural Devon, and I’m also very pleased that they’ve won four contracts under the next phase of the Connecting Devon and Somerset programme”.
The Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) project1 said it has completed the first stage of its superfast (24Mbps) broadband rollout programme with BT. About GBP 94 million was spent to connect 278,000 premises. The contract was originally due to complete by the end of 2016, ISPreview said, noting although that much of the remaining work in the first quarter of this year has involved the deployment of Gigabit capable FTTP. Phase One actually brought high-speed fibre broadband services to an additional 320,000 local homes and businesses, with take-up reaching 33.5 percent, if the numbers include slower sub-24Mbps areas. The original contract was supported by around GBP 32 million of State Aid from the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, plus another GBP 10 million from the local councils and the final GBP 41 million reflecting match-funding from BT (private investment).
Several million also came from the Bath and North East Somerset Council, for a public sector total of around GBP 53 million.
Under Phase Two, already underway, Gigaclear said it will roll out its Gigabit network to 35,225 hard-to-reach premises by 2018.2 The Gigaclear contract is for four out of six lots, with the winners of the remaining lots to be announced at a later date.
- ^ Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) project (www.telecompaper.com)
- ^ Under Phase Two, already underway, Gigaclear said it will roll out its Gigabit network to 35,225 hard-to-reach premises by 2018. (www.telecompaper.com)
Q I have converted a barn on my property to let as a holiday home, but I am losing money because I can’t get BT to install broadband. I have it in my own property, but I have been trying since November to get it for the barn, as guests will want wi-fi. What can I do if I can’t get broadband?
Laura Harcourt, Devon
A You can persist and wait this out with BT, or take matters into your own hands, as a vacant property is costing you money.
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