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Gigaclear greenlit to pipe gigabit broadband to Essex’s Epping Forest

Rural fibre provider Gigaclear has been picked by Essex County Council to provide gigabit broadband to thousands of homes and firms across Epping Forest. 

Over 4,500 locations throughout the ancient woodland area will be able to access Gigaclear’s services which provide download and upload speeds of up to 1Gbps (1,000Mbps), well in excess of the current UK average, according to the latest figures from Ofcom. 

In real terms, Gigaclear says that it’s top tier package will let you download a three hour film in less than a minute. 

Gigaclear’s chief executive Matthew Hare said: “Fast and reliable broadband is so important today. It enables families to connect and businesses to compete. That’s why we are determined to help communities like those in Epping Forest District – who have not yet been reached by the Superfast Essex programme  – have the best possible connections.  

“We’re not simply bringing the broadband here up to date; we’re going to give people living and working in this area the kind of speeds that others in major cities can only dream of.” 

Related: Superfast Essex consultation begins: The Only Way Is BTThe Superfast Essex venture will see thousands of Essex homes and businesses able to order either FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) or FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) services from ISPs using BT’s Openreach network. 

At present, these types of connections can only deliver top download speeds of 80Mbps and 330Mbps respectively and in the case of FTTC, the maximum speed you’ll get depends greatly on your proximity to a green street cabinet.  

Superfast Essex, like many of the BDUK (Broadband Delivery for the UK) projects, won’t bring superfast broadband to every corner of the county – it’s currently planning to bring superfast services to 95 per cent of Essex by 2020.  

Epping Forest residents fall into the 5 per cent of Essex that won’t be reached by this superfast footprint, but stands to benefit from a faster, FTTP connections. 

Councillor Alan Lion, portfolio holder responsible for technology at Epping Forest District Council, added: “I am very pleased that Epping Forest has been selected to pilot the rural challenge project in Essex.  

“Faster broadband speeds means that our residents and businesses based in rural areas of the district will benefit from much better connectivity than currently available and will provide a much more reliable internet service.”

The Rural Challenge Project will focus on the north-east of Epping Forest District. The majority of homes and businesses within Fyfield, Stapleford Tawney, Bobbingworth, Ongar, Moreton, Magdalen Laver, High Laver, Little Laver, and Theydon Mount. 

A smaller number of premises in High Ongar, Willingale, Abbess Beauchamp and Berners Roding, Stapleford Abbotts, Stanford Rivers, Matching, North Weald Bassett, Lambourne, Theydon Garnon, Sheering, Epping Upland, Theydon Bois and Chigwell will also be included in the project. 

Gigaclear’s services start at £38.80/month for the entry-level Home 50 Unlimited service, which gives you unlimited downloads, no traffic shaping plus download and upload speeds of 50Mbps. 

If you need more bandwidth, the Home 100 Unlimited and Home 200 Unlimited services will give you 100Mbps and 200Mbps download and upload speeds for £44/month and £51/month respectively. 

Those with seriously deep pockets can get the ultrafast 1Gbps service for £72/month. All Gigaclear products require you to pay a one-off £100 connection fee. 

Work is due to begin this October with a view to getting the first customers connected by Christmas. 

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