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Canadian broadband expertise speeds Gigaclear fibre dig

Rural broadband provider Gigaclear has enlisted Canadian firm Lite Access Technology to assist in the roll-out of full-fibre services to 10,000 properties in Oxfordshire

Oxfordshire-based rural fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband specialist Gigaclear has called on Canadian micro-trenching specialist Lite Access to help roll out ultrafast services to 10,000 homes and businesses in some of the most rural parts of west Oxfordshire.

Based in the suburbs of Vancouver, Lite Access set up in the UK in 2017 through a collaboration with the Welsh government. Its local operations are run by former BT engineer Dylan Griffiths, and it is already engaged in a 29,000-property roll-out in Wrexham.

The firm will now carry out all the civil engineering work and fibre cable installation using increasingly popular techniques such as narrow-trenching, a minimally invasive means of digging up roads to lay fibre infrastructure that can trench more than 200 metres a day.

“Lite Access UK is delighted to have been awarded the contract by Gigaclear,” said Griffiths. “It gives us a great platform to utilise our years of experience of similar fibre deployment projects in rural Canada.

“It is also an opportunity for us to demonstrate the full capabilities of our unique, customised cutting blades and attachments, which have been specially redesigned for micro duct deployment in the UK to deliver ultrafast FTTP broadband.”

Gigaclear COO Brett Shepherd added: “This new contract will enable Gigaclear to continue to roll out world-class broadband, this time to homes and businesses in west Oxfordshire, using the very latest installation technology and equipment.

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“Due to its experience in deploying similar projects throughout rural Canada, Lite Access Technologies is the ideal partner for Gigaclear. This represents a fantastic opportunity to work with a really innovative construction partner and we are really looking forward to bringing ultrafast, reliable broadband to the residents of west Oxfordshire.”

The build will start in the villages of Langford, near Lechlade, and Great Tew, near Chipping Norton, in the next few months. The first phase is a jointly funded £8m plan to address 4,600 properties, with another £8m to come from Gigaclear for a further 5,700 properties.

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