Stage 3 Gigaclear Build Update
17th October, 2018
In 2017 Fastershire awarded a number of Stage 3 contracts to Gigaclear to provide properties across rural parts of Herefordshire and Gloucestershire much needed access to faster broadband.
When complete, this network will transform broadband access, making the two counties some of the best connected areas in the UK, however, the scale of the rollout is vast and will see Gigaclear lay approximately 7,000,000m of fibre optic cable.
In Herefordshire, Gigaclear had no existing network footprint and as a result Gigaclear has needed to install the vital backhaul links before work in the county could begin. The stage 3 build is now well under way and currently nine community networks are under construction with over 1000 individual connection pots installed.
Gigaclear’s network in Gloucestershire is more mature, owing to the lot 1 contract for the Cotswolds that was awarded in 2015. The Cotswolds build is now complete bar some minor works and of the new lots awarded in 2017, currently 25 community networks are under construction and five community networks now complete.
The new network is completely buried and therefore Gigaclear’s plans are susceptible to delays as wayleaves are sought, negotiated and occasionally withheld and as detailed designs get refined to account for conditions on the ground. As a result the deployment programme is very dynamic and while build may progress quicker than expected in some communities, others may experience unexpected delays.
Fastershire is aware that a number of the start dates anticipated for certain communities have been missed and we understand the frustrations this has caused not least in terms of the accuracy and timeliness of information on the Fastershire website. The project is working on improvements to the build reporting process and the Fastershire website that will enable the project to more accurately reflect the deployment dates and provide more progress updates at the local level.
In light of this, Fastershire has requested that Gigaclear produce a new deployment plan. The project expects to receive the new deployment plan in November and it will likely see some rescheduling. For some communities anticipated build start date may be sooner than previously stated but for other communities it may be later.
Fastershire will publish this information as soon as it is possible in line with the revised plan.
Mike Surrey, CEO Gigaclear
“Gigaclear has worked collaboratively with Fastershire since 2015 on the programme to bring full fibre, high speed broadband to rural Herefordshire and Gloucestershire and significant progress has been made to date. The stage 3 build is well underway in the Gloucestershire with network serving five communities live and a further 25 in construction, additionally in Herefordshire another 9 community areas are in build. However, as wayleaves are sought, negotiated and occasionally withheld, and detailed designs are refined to account for conditions on the ground, we acknowledge that some communities have experienced a delay. We would like to reassure you that we are committed to delivering fast broadband services.
We would like to extend our apologies for this, we know how vital access to reliable broadband is and we are sorry for the frustration this has caused. We are now working hard on the delivery of the revised deployment plan which will be released in November, when it is fully agreed with Fastershire. To ensure the rollout programme is accelerated and delivered against the new schedule, we are increasing resources across the region.
We want to take this opportunity to reassure residents that we are committed to successfully delivering ultrafast broadband services to the region and improving our communications to the community”.