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25 March 2014

Does Gigaclear’s broadband win show new direction for BDUK?

Rural broadband projects across the UK are in full swing with funding from central government and local authorities turning into fibre in the ground. But every state-funded project had been awarded to telecoms giant BT, giving rise to criticism around a lack of competition and encouragement of a monopoly within the UK broadband sector. This week, one scheme was ready to shake things up. It was announced on 3 March that UK internet service provider (ISP) Gigaclear had won government funding to build and run a fibre to the premises (FTTP) network in the Oxfordshire Parish of Northmoor. The area secured a Rural Community Broadband Fund (RCBF) grant from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) towards the end of last year. As a result, West Oxfordshire District Council ran an open procurement process to get ISPs bidding on the contract to serve around 500 premises. Choosing Gigaclear over BT Gigaclear being named the winner didn’t just pave the way for work to begin on the 1Gbps network for residents and ...

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