Br0kenTeleph0n3

Following the broadband money

Real fibre broadband comes to 500 Northmoor homes

with 4 comments

In a rare bit of good news for the altnet community, Gigaclear announced it has won funding from the Rural Community Broadband Fund (RCBF) to design, build, implement, and operate a fibre to the premises (FTTP) broadband network to serve around 500 homes in Northmoor, Oxfordshire.

Just weeks ago Gigaclear scrapped a planned rollout in Dun Valley, Wiltshire after it discovered BT planned to use taxpayers’ money to provide a fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) service to the area.

Gigaclear won the contract in an open procurement by West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) after the parish secured an RCBF grant from the Department for the EnvironmentFood and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The value was not disclosed.

In a survey of residents’ needs, 14% of respondents said they could get no broadband service at all. A quarter of responses were either from business premises or from residential premises used by people to work from home and/or run their own businesses. Better broadband was high on their priority list.

Graham Shelton, chairman of the parish council and leader of the broadband group, said talks with Oxfordshire County Council revealed the parish would be likely to fall outside the area covered by Oxfordshire’s £4m Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) subsidy. “That freed us to pursue other options. We were aware of Gigaclear’s work elsewhere, so were delighted they won on merit.

“The network will ensure that everyone can obtain equally superfast broadband and that it will be available to all properties in the parish – including a number of caravans.”

Gigaclear is expected to finish the network in September.

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Written by Br0kenTeleph0n3

2014/03/04 at 00:26

4 Responses

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  1. Yes its about time we had some good news, and it’s great new indeed. If only the other councils would show a bit of sense and support a bit of innovation instead of neglecting so many of their constituents. Gigaclear go where BT and Virgin fail to tread, and could help a lot more areas if big society really worked.

    Chris Conder

    2014/03/04 at 07:57

  2. http://goo.gl/q5hfW8

    More info in the project’s Defra submission. What percentage of properties have signed up? It looks too expensive with a £100 registration charge and £95 installation fee plus on going monthly fee (subsidised initially with the grant). What was affordable was less than £20 a month according to the residents’ survey.

    Interesting to see how West Oxfordshire DC and Oxfordshire County Council delivers services to a lot of elderly residents in this parish. If not many can afford the service then neither local authority can make savings in delivering care services online for example. Different approach to Suffolk CC which expects a £3 million annual savings from moving government services online having prioritised affordable 2mbps universal service for all properties, and in many cases more like 5 – 10 mbps plus. Interesting to have two approaches as comparison has been lacking.

    Look forward to the percentage that sign up. Will to be like B4Rn in areas with poor service – 100%?

    Selina Howells

    2014/03/04 at 09:15

  3. […] Meanwhile Gigaclear, being so often screwed over recent rural broadband projects (while winning those which go to open procurement), appears to be exploiting its link up with Fluidata to offer equally attractive deals to the […]


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