Gigaclear ultrafast FTTP broadband is coming to Upottery Parish!
In July 2016 we learnt that Gigaclear Ltd are coming to Devon & Somerset offering a commercial (no government funding involved) Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) service and they are starting their network build here in Upottery Parish!
Gigaclear have identified five zones or areas for the programme and the villages of Upottery, Rawridge and Yarcombe will be first, followed by Smeatharpe, Churchinford and Stapley and eventually areas north of the M5 including Waterrow and Huish Champflower. The parishes in which some (but not all) properties will be connected are Dunkeswell, Upottery, Yarcombe, Hemyock, Clayhidon, Holcombe Rogus, Huish Champflower, Churchstanton, Bathealton, Langford Budville, Chipstable, Wiveliscombe, Wellington Without, West Buckland, Sampford Arundel, Ashbrittle, Stawley, Wellington and Whitestaunton.
The programme is being financed with an investment of £2.4M from Neil Woodford Investment Funds and Prudential with no public funding involved. In all approx 2,000 properties will be connected to FTTP broadband. Initially Gigaclear needed approx 35% of all properties in each area to order the Gigaclear FTTP service to make the project viable but at the end of 2016, Gigaclear committed to the project and began building the network once the 35% threshold had been reached in Upottery parish
Also, on December 21st 2016, Gigaclear won four of the six Connectng Devon & Somerset Phase 2 contract lots which means that in addition to the 2,000 properties they will connect to in the Blackdown Hills, Gigaclear will also connect full fibre broadband to another 35,225 properties across rural Devon & Somerset.
The pure fibre broadband service offered by Gigaclear is the best available anywhere in the world providing symmetric (same speed up and down) broadband up to 1,000Mbps.This will make Upottery the first "Gigabit Village" in the South West with a broadband service better than anything west of Bristol!
The Western Morning News published a piece in March asking "How come tiny villages in Devon have better broadband than Exeter and Plymouth?"
On July 1st 2017, Gigaclear released this map showing all their fibre broadband network areas in the UK: (NB: This map shows the Upottery, Yacombe, Churchinford and Churchstanton areas as "live" and while that is not the case on July 1, it should only be a matter of weeks before the network does go live. Click on the map for a larger version)
As the above map indicates, it was announed July 13, 2017 that Gigaclear have also won the CDS Phase 2 Lot 1 contract with Gigaclear investing £7.8M in Lot 1 and CDS investing £2.5M (Total of £10.3M) to connect 6,500 premises in the Bath & NE Somerset area with symmetric full fibre broadband up to 1,000Mbps. See https://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/7767-gigaclear-announced-as-winner-of-final-cds-phase-two-project
No payments will be taken from those placing orders until the fibre service is installed and running and if you tell Gigaclear when the contract with your current ISP expires, you will not be expected to start using and paying for Gigaclear fibre broadband until your current ISP contract expires. Prices are comparable to BT's FTTC Infinity service (which is not available here), but FTTP provides a much superior service which can deliver 1,000Mbps from day one - something BT does not offer. Click on Gigaclear broadband packages for full information on products and prices.
Connection "pots" like this one, looking much the same as your water stop cock or meter, are being installed at the property boundary of all the properties that Gigaclear's fibre cable ducting passes. Property owners can then choose either to connect a fibre cable from the pot into their property themselves (using the kit that Gigaclear supply) or connection into the property can be provided by Gigaclear. Details of how to make your own connection to the pot are on the Gigaclear website and are provided with the connection kit.. The fibre backbone supplying the parish which runs through Upottery and Smeatharpe starts at Gigaclear cabinets that have already been installed by the A303 junction on the A30 and runs to another Gigaclear cabinet that has been installed in Churchinford.
Progress by Gigaclear's subcontractors, Complete Utilities, can be followed on the Devon & Somerset Roadworks Website where all scheduled roadworks are displayed up to 12 months ahead.
Gigaclear cabinets on the A30/A303 and in Churchinford:
To find out if a property will benefit from Gigaclear pure fibre broadband use the Gigaclear Postcode Checker . [NB: The gigaclear postcode checker includes all postcodes that will be covered by their own commercial programme as well as postcodes that will be covered by the CDS Phase 2 programmes (Lots 2,3,5 & 6)]
On March 28, 2017, Connecting Devon & Somerset announced that the first villages that will benefit from Gigaclear pure fibre as a part of the CDS Phase 2 programme are:
In Lot 2: Rooksbridge, Lympsham, Brean, Weare & Crickham
In Lot 3: Roundham, Dowlish, Merriott(tbc), Over Stratton & Isle Abbots
In Lot 5: Corfe, Blagdon, Buckland St Mary, Wadeford & Bradford on Tone
In Lot 6: Yealmbridge, Noss Mayo, Newton Ferrers, Ashford & Aveton Gifford
In July 2017 Gigaclear won Lot 1 from CDS following a legal challenge to CDS by an unsuccessful bidder. This means that five of the six Phase 2 lots have been won by Gigaclear with Lot 4 going to fixed wireless supplier Airband, who won the contract for Exmoor and Dartmoor in 2016.
If your property is not included in Gigaclear's commercial programme or the CDS Phase 2 programme there are other alternatives that can get faster broadband to you. One that you should consider is Voneus who supply a fixed wireless broadband service and are very active in Devon & Somerset. Voneus will install a fixed wireless mast if 60 properties are prepared to place orders with them, but because fixed wireless can supply properties over an area up to 10Km radius (topography permitting) those properties can be widely dispersed. Contact Voneus for more information. If you obtained a "broadband voucher" from CDS before November 30, 2016 which will contribute to hardware and installation costs for a fixed wireless or satellite broadband service, then vouchers can still be used with Voneus up until September 30, 2017 (Was previously June 30, 2017), but the installation must be completed by this date.
The CDS voucher scheme has been extended to Sept 30, 2017 for those who currently hold vouchers. No new vouchers are being issued but CDS say that they will start a new voucher scheme "once the Phase 2 deployment schedule is in place". In the meantime check the CDS Website for more information.
On May 6, 2017 Gigaclear announced that they have raised another £111M from investors to connect another 150,000 properties to their all fibre network. (See https://www.gigaclear.com/news/ ) This will be in addition to the 2,000 properties they are currently working to connect commercially in Devon & Somerset and the 135,000 properties they will connect via the CDS Phase 2 programme by the end of 2019.
On July 12, 2017, Gigaclear were awarded "Best Rural Broadband Provider" at the 2017 UK Internet Industry Awards.