Rural broadband provider Gigaclear has announced intentions to connect 200,000 customers to its all-fibre network.
The company, which specialises in building local FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) networks capable of delivering gigabit (1,000Mbps) speeds, is hoping to raise £180 million on the AIM (Alternative Investment Market) stock exchange.
Gigaclear already operates nine small networks around the UK including Rutland Telecom and Ultrafast Underriver but it wants to take it to the next level.
Gigaclear has already had to pull out of a previously-greenlit project when it emerged that BT was going to roll out superfast broadband to the Dun Valley and the Tytherlys under the the Superfast South Gloucestershire and Wiltshire scheme.
Over 400 communities have expressed an interesting in Gigaclear coming to their necck of the woods. Now the fibre provider wants to raise more cash before the UK’s biggest ISP can steal a march.
Matthew Hare, Gigaclear’s chief executive said: “There are rural communities cut off from the broadband revolution. Our opportunity lies in bridging that divide, building ultrafast, pure fibre networks for rural communities that not only can rival urban speeds but can often beat them, hands down.”
While BDUK (Broadband Delivery for the UK) projects like Superfast South Gloucestershire and Wiltshire will see the majority of places connected to superfast broadband, those in the margins stand to make do with a basic service guaranteeing download speeds of at least 2Mbps.
Gigaclear’s business model is based on stepping up to fill the gaps, bringing ultrafast broadband to areas that otherwise wouldn’t get such a service.
While the BDUK projects will deliver a step change in rural areas, most locations will get FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) which provides top download speeds of 80Mbps. The distance between your cabinet and your house will also affect the speeds you actually get, as it the case with ADSL connections and the distance from your local exchange.
All of Gigaclear’s connections by contrast are FTTP lines which can more or less guarantee the speeds as advertised.
The company’s tariffs range from £37/month for an entry-level service that gives you 50Mbps download and upload speeds. Prices for this starter service compare favourably with most rival’s superfast packages.
Seriously heavy users and small businesses who want 1Gbps download and uploads will need to fork out £75/month – not much more expensive than BT’s nearest equivalent service, which provides downloads of 300Mbps and uploads of 30Mbps.