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Gigaclear to take on 120 engineers for rural broadband expansion

New full-time field engineers will join rural broadband provider’s in-house team by the end of March 2021 to increase company’s build capacity

Domestic and business broadband provider Gigaclear has announced plans to boost its engineering capacity with a wave of new hires, growing its employee base by more than 20%.

The company’s fibre-optic network covers more than 22 counties across the South West, the Midlands and South East. It says the recruitment drive, which will happen in phases between July 2020 and March 2021, will improve the provider’s technical skills, boosting build speeds and increasing responsiveness to customer demand, while making maintenance faster and more efficient.

The UK government is committed to delivering nationwide gigabit-capable broadband as soon as possible, with the ambition to deliver it by 2025. It says such next-generation connectivity has the potential to revolutionise communities and make them more attractive places to live, giving people the freedom to live and work more flexibly and help develop thriving digital economies.

In the Queen’s Speech on 19 December 2019, prime minister Boris Johnson’s then newly elected government indicated that it would introduce laws to accelerate the delivery of gigabit-capable broadband across the UK by 2025, a legislative journey that began in January 2020. The 2020 Budget statement confirmed the government’s commitment to invest a total of £5bn to roll out full-fibre broadband across the country.

To further boost development, the government introduced the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, a UK-wide, supplier-led scheme offering vouchers to be used as part of group projects, to pay towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband to premises providing speeds of up to 1Gbps.

The vouchers can be used to subsidise the cost of building out next-generation broadband infrastructure, such as fibre-optic cables, to rural villages and towns. The government also believes the vouchers will incentivise other broadband companies to build in these locations.

Gigaclear said it was proud to be recruiting externally at a time when many other businesses were putting staff on furlough and making redundancies. “It goes to show how fundamentally essential our work is as we continue to expand our network, helping families to stay in touch, allowing people to work from home, keeping communities connected, and so much more,” said delivery director Nathan Rundle.

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“Not only do we have more customers than ever, but rightly, with so many working from home and relying on uninterrupted, ultrafast internet access, they are demanding the very best in terms of service, and so we are ensuring that we have the resource to continually drive up the quality of our network.

“Investing in our in-house field engineering team will help us become more responsive and also drive standards by setting a benchmark for our contractors to match in terms of quality and customer experience.”

Gigaclear said it would provide full training and would be looking to hire both senior and more junior roles from across different backgrounds. “It’s particularly important for us to employ the right kind of people – those that are resilient and adaptable,” said Rundle. “The roles we’re filling offer a great deal of career progression for people with the right attitudes and a willingness to learn.”

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