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Gigaclear breaks ground on BDUK FTTP networks

Altnet Gigaclear starts digging on a broadband network of 12,000 premises in Berkshire, and reveals more details of its progress in Gloucestershire

Pure fibre broadband provider Gigaclear has started work on one of its biggest digs to date, connecting 12,000 homes and businesses in West Berkshire under its recently awarded Superfast Berkshire Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) contract.

Gigaclear’s principal contractor, MKJ, yesterday (4 November 2015) began work on the first fibre broadband cabinet in Eddington, Hungerford.

The initial phase of the roll-out will pass homes and businesses in Hungerford, East Garston, Kintbury and Lambourn. If the planned schedule is kept, the ultrafast fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network is set to cover more than 50 communities in West Berkshire, including Aldermaston, Pangbourne and Tilehurst, by the end of June 2017.

Superfast Berkshire project manager Colin Batchelor said he hoped the first customers to use the new network would be live by Christmas 2015.

“This is a major project for West Berkshire with some 850km of new fibre construction work to deliver ultrafast broadband to many parts of the district,” he said.

Gigaclear chief executive Matthew Hare added: “Installing a new, pure fibre communications network will give those living and working in the region internet speeds up to 1000Mbps, meaning they can do whatever they need to do online, any time.

“Working in partnership with the Superfast Berkshire team, we look forward to transforming the broadband experience in this area and delivering this project on time.”

Gigaclear bid for and won a number of contracts under the second phase of BDUK, including one on the fringes of Greater London in Epping Forest.

A third BDUK network in the Cotswolds, overseen by Gloucestershire and Herefordshire County Councils’ Fastershire programme, is also in the beginning stages of its build.

Gigaclear broke ground on a 10km dig to bring fibre to the village of Badgeworth, near Tewkesbury, towards the end of October 2015, and plans to hit eight more communities in the first quarter of 2016. This network will ultimately cover 6,495 total properties.

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