Rural ISP Gigaclear has rolled out a fibre optic broadband network in a Oxfordshire business park.
The broadband connection which previously served Kingston Business Park was previously has copper which only provided the 30 businessess based there speeds of up to 1.5Mbps.
Some firms considering relocating until Gigaclear installed FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) broadband, delivering speeds of at least 50Mbps and up to 1Gbps.
One firm, ES Technology, a laser processing equipment manufacturer, has used the network to download complex, large files over the internet. Operations director Tim Millard said: “We’re now able to download CAD drawings from our suppliers instantaneously.”
“Previously complex drawings could have taken up to 30 minutes to download which left our designers killing time while they waited to access the files. Our parent company, based in Northamptonshire, is so impressed with how quickly we can transfer information, it is pushing for fibre optic at their own premises.”
Over 53,000 premises in Northamptonshire are due to be connected to superfast broadband by BT as part of the Superfast Northamptonshire BDUK (Broadband Delivery for the UK) scheme. This will see companies able to enjoy speeds of at least 24Mbps on an FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) line with the possibility of upgrading to FTTP. BT doesn’t currently offer 1Gbps speeds on its fibre lines but trials have proven that it could offer this in the future.
Gigaclear by contrast is installing FTTP as standard, offering firms download and upload speeds of up to 1Gbps.
Philip Stacey of Clarendon Business Centres added that his firm was at were at risk of losing business because of the slow and unreliable broadband speeds. Stacey said: “With many clients investing in servers and cloud based solutions onsite, it became essential for us to seek the best Internet connectivity solution available, to both retain and build our client base.
“Since installing the network, we’ve gone from having internet speeds as low as 0.5Mbps to a symmetric 100Mbps with the potential to increase this to 1Gbps.”
Matthew Hare, chief executive, Gigaclear said the debate on broadband services in rural communities is about more than just technology.
“It is about provisioning for a sustainable economic future for those who wish to live and work in counties like Oxfordshire. Broadband is an essential utility for businesses today – having poor broadband in a business park is akin to building the park without electricity. By implementing ultrafast broadband, Kingston Business Park businesses are benefiting from world class technology within their preferred geographic location.”
Gigaclear’s business model is based on offering gigabit broadband to rural residents and companies who aren’t in line to benefit from commercial expansion from companies like BT or Virgin Media or the government’s BDUK programme.
Communities living in would-be Gigaclear areas will also have to demonstrate sufficient interest in the area before they start digging, therefore guaranteeing the company a return on investment.
Image: Geograph/Colin Bates