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Rural fibre provider Gigaclear bringing ultrafast broadband to 500 Oxfordshire homes

Gigaclear has been given the go-ahead to rollout an ultrafast fibre-to-the-premises broadband network in an Oxfordshire village.

The ISP will design, build, implement, and operate the fibre network in the parish of Northmoor, capable of speeds 10 times as fast as BT’s superfast broadband being provided to most of the UK.

Northmoor is so far from the nearest BT exchange that 14 per cent of people who responded to a survey said they couldn’t get any broadband – and a quarter of these also said they were in business premises or working from home.

Rural fibre provider Gigaclear bringing ultrafast broadband to 500 Oxfordshire homes
Northmoor, soon to be one of Oxfordshire’s fastest communities

Graham Shelton, chair of Northmoor Parish Council and leader of its broadband group said: “Better broadband was clearly a priority in such a rural location.

“We spoke to Oxfordshire County Council and were informed from the start that, because of its location, the Parish would be likely to fall outside the area covered by the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) subsidy.

“That freed us to pursue other options. Our District Council helped us finalise our RCBF bid, and find a suitable provider through an independent procurement process – ensuring the community obtained a socially-inclusive service and good value for money.”

Construction of the new network is expected to start once the Stanton Harcourt and Sutton network is complete, finishing in September this year.

Gigaclear’s FTTP home packages start at £37/month for a symmetric 50Mbps link with unlimited capacity, up to £69/month for a 1000Mbps (that’s 1 Gigabit) symmetrical, with no line rental costs. Business services include with run at up to 10Gbps of uncontended bandwidth. 

BT’s fastest home service with FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) is up-to-76Mbps (download only) for around £33/month including line rental.

Gigaclear applied for the contract via an open procurement process conducted by West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) after the Parish secured a Rural Community Broadband Fund (RCBF) grant from the Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

The RCBF is a £20million pot designed to help remote rural communities in the last 10 per cent of the UK, which aren’t covered by the wider BDUK programme.

The project comes after a similar project up the road in Chipping Norton was axed. However, PM David Cameron was on hand to open a BT fibre cabinet in Alvescot, Oxfordshire.

Image: Geograph/Shaun Ferguson

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