UK first for Fastershire and Gigaclear partnership
9th December, 2015
Residents in Gloucestershire will be among the very first in the country to receive ultrafast internet speeds up to 30 times faster than the UK average as a result of national funding from BDUK and the county council.
Earlier this year Gloucestershire County Council agreed to award a contract to Gigaclear to provide access to broadband speeds of up to 1Gbps to more than 6,500 homes and businesses in the Cotswolds.
The first Fastershire cabinet providing ultrafast broadband is now live and ready to provide fibre broadband to communities including Cockleford, Coberley and Cowley before Christmas. The full rollout schedule to 2017 is available www.fastershire.com/phase2.
This announcement comes less than two months after work began on Fastershire’s Phase 2 rollout to provide ultrafast fibre-to-the-premises broadband to the Cotswolds, and will be the first ultrafast fibre broadband cabinet to go live in the UK as part of a government funded national project.
Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: “We are proud to be leading the way and running on time for Phase 2 of the government’s Superfast Broadband Programme. I look forward to the first Gloucestershire residents enjoying the benefits of ultrafast broadband before Christmas.”
Matthew Hare, Chief Executive at Gigaclear, said: “This is the first ultrafast cabinet of many that will deliver blistering fast broadband to the residents and business of the Cotswold District in Gloucestershire. Installing a new, pure fibre communications network with internet speeds up to 1000Mbps will really transform the work, play, entertainment and communications experience for all our customers in the area. And in the long term, the pure fibre network will mean that the community has a future proof network that will not need updating over time as their broadband requirements grow.”
Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: "Our rollout of superfast broadband has already reached more than 50,000 homes and businesses in Gloucestershire, and more than 3.5million premises across the UK. Gigaclear's ultrafast cabinet will transform broadband speeds in the Cotswolds and I congratulate the Fastershire project on their success to date."
Fastershire appointed Gigaclear as delivery partner for this phase in June, and the rollout budget includes £3m from the project’s government-funded Superfast Extension Programme (SEP) and £7m from Gigaclear. It was the first investment by a national fibre broadband project to be awarded to any other bidder than BT in the UK.
Phase 1 of the Fastershire project, in partnership with BT, has already delivered faster broadband to over 14,000 premises in the Cotswolds area, and more than 50,000 homes and businesses in Gloucestershire can now benefit from improved broadband speeds.