Fibre broadband supplier Gigaclear is to embark on one of its largest network roll-outs to date after securing a contract to deliver an ultrafast fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) service to 11,700 homes and businesses in West Berkshire from Superfast Berkshire.
The contract is the third that Gigaclear has won under the second stage of Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) as local authorities seek to infill some of the harder-to-reach parts of the country. It has already signed contracts with Essex and Gloucestershire.
The government has made £3.7m of funding available to push Gigaclear’s fibre network out across West Berkshire, while Gigaclear will invest £4 for every £1 of state aid, up to a total of £16m.
Exactly as it plans to do in Essex, Gigaclear will install an open fibre communications infrastructure – capable of supplying symmetric 1Gbps broadband – in parallel to the existing copper network, enabling consumers to experience internet speeds up to 1,000 times higher than currently available and helping businesses operate to their full potential.
“The impending completion of phase one [of BDUK] and this new contract with Gigaclear will mean that more than 99% of premises in West Berkshire will have superfast broadband capability,” said West Berkshire executive member for ICT Roger Croft.
“Broadband is vital to the rural economy as well as rural residents quality of life. This is the next phase of bringing superfast broadband to residents and small businesses in West Berkshire following completion of the commercial areas,” he added.
Gigaclear chief executive Matthew Hare said: “We’re delighted to celebrate a hat-trick of successes in being selected to bring ultrafast broadband to the Cotswolds, Epping Forest in Essex and now West Berkshire.
“Giving these areas one of the best and most reliable broadband services in the world means businesses and residents of all ages will benefit. We are excited that these investments will make a significant contribution to economic development as well as transforming the online education, communications, entertainment and business experience,” he added.