What is Gigaclear, what kind of services does it provide, where is it available and should I sign up? Here's all you need to know about the rural broadband provider, who is stirring up serious interest in 2017.
Gigaclear is the name you need to look for if you currently live in a rural area and want to connect to full-speed broadband internet. After snatching up the prize for Best Rural Broadband provider at the UK Internet Industry Awards, it's clear that the company has plenty to offer if you don't live in the big smoke and want a fast web connection.
So what does Gigaclear actually do? How fast an internet connection can you expect if you sign up? More importantly, is it actually available in your area? We’ve dived into the details so you can learn everything there is to know about Gigaclear, all in one place.
What does Gigaclear do and what services does it offer?
Gigaclear is an internet service provider (ISP) like BT or TalkTalk, which offers high-speed broadband of up to 1Gbps in rural UK areas.
The idea is to offer ultra fast fibre optic broadband internet to areas that would otherwise be without a high-speed connection. Specifically, Gigaclear offers Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) network connectivity, for the best possible speeds right now and complete future proofing.
If FTTP is utter jargon to you, check out our guide to FTTP internet for all you need to know.
Gigaclear provides its high-speed internet service to both private homes as well as businesses. The provider even operates on an enterprise scale, if you need to supply a large corporation with reliable web connectivity.
How long has Gigaclear been around?
Gigaclear started up in 2013, which means it's only been around for four years at the time of writing. Yet despite this, the provider has been very active indeed. Check out some of our previous Gigaclear coverage in the links below.
- Kent broadband project Ultrafast Underriver achieves pledge target
- Kent council called on to reveal extent of rural superfast broadband plans
- Gigabit rural broadband provider Gigaclear to open up fibre network
- Rural gigabit broadband project Ultrafast Underriver shunned by council
- Gigaclear completes 1Gbps fibre broadband network in rural Uppingham
- Kent rural fibre broadband project hopes to dig 1Gbps with Gigaclear
- Fibre broadband network coming to Uppingham
- Gigabit fibre broadband coming to Fyfield and Tubney
- 1Gbps broadband for 400 in Appleton and Eaton
Who actually owns Gigaclear?
While Gigaclear is a private company funded by commercial investments, the provider has moved beyond that now.
In 2017, Gigaclear was awarded contracts as part of the government subsidised BDUK rural broadband programme. This has allowed for even more expansion in certain areas; more on that below.
How good is Gigaclear?
Gigaclear is an award-winning internet provider, recognised at the UK Internet Industry Awards for its service to rural areas. One of the main factors that helped Gigaclear to win this prize was its use of a Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) network, something that more providers should be offering. That means up to 1Gbps internet speeds right to your home, even if you live out in the sticks.
Fibre connections vary considerably and some can be a lot slower than others. This FTTP network is the best option out there right now and means potential for super-fast internet that isn’t throttled at the final stage of the journey, as it runs right to the property. In comparison, Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) fibre broadband has to travel along a slower pipeline from the cabinet to the home, which means your connection can get choked.
FTTP networks can easily be upgraded as technology improves, which means potentially faster connections in the future too.
Where is Gigaclear available?
Gigaclear works its way up the list of rural areas that are neglected by many other internet providers, in order get those communities connected to high-speed broadband.
The Gigaclear service is currently offered to over 40,000 homes in Britain across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Gloucestershire, Kent, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Rutland and Worcestershire.
Gigaclear has also just received new funding and will be expanding across Berkshire, Devon, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Northamptonshire in the future.
How much does Gigaclear cost?
For the very top home broadband package with ridiculously fast 1Gbps broadband, dubbed Home 1GB Unlimited, you’ll pay a one-off installation and activation fee of £230. This is followed by a further £76.60 per month. Of course, that’s so fast that most people will never get close to using all that speed, unless they're gaming online while streaming 4K HDR movies in every room.
Another super fast options is the Home 200 Unlimited package with, you guessed it, 200Mbps speeds. Again you’ll pay £230 up front to get setup, followed by £54.30 per month.
For most people the Home 100 Unlimited will offer more than enough speed at 100Mbps. This is £230 upfront as a one-off fee again, then £46.85 per month.
The most basic offering is still a pleasingly nippy 50Mbps line in the Home 50 Unlimited package, which is £230 upfront then £41.30 per month.
If you go for the latter three packages and then suddenly have a need for super fast speeds for a short time, there is an option to pay a one-off fee of £5 and unlock speedy 1GB internet for 48 hours.
Read next: Is your house ready to stream 4K video?