Work on delivering fibre to 18,000 homes in two BDUK projects gets underway
Rural fibre to the premise (FTTP) provider Gigaclear has started work on two new projects as it looks to connect another 18,500 homes and businesses to 1Gbps speeds by 2017.
The firm has started constructing a netgwork in West Berkshire that will eventually connect 12,000 premises by 2017 and has also started the second phase of ‘Ultrafast Fastershire’, which will bring FTTP to almost 6,500 properties in the Cotswolds.
The first connections will go live in early 2016 and the remaining locations will be added in the following 18 months. Both projects are part-funded by the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), which offers government funding for the rollout of superfast broadband in areas not considered commercially viable.
Gigaclear’s FTTP networks now reach 10,000 properties across the UK and the firm raised £30 million earlier this year in order to continue its expansion.
Most of the UK’s fibre infrastructure is based on Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) technology, which uses copper for the final few metres of the connection. A number of operators, including CityFibre and Hyperoptic, offer FTTP connections, however these are mostly restricted to urban areas.
Virgin Media plans to expand its cable network to four million more properties as part of a £3 billion investment. However it is expected that the majority of locations earmarked for the rollout will either be in cities or places already served by BT.
BDUK aims to connect 95 percent of the UK population to superfast broadband by 2017, and has so far connected more than three million properties.
However BT is looking to boost speeds on its network using G.Fast technology cabaple of delivering 500Mbps and is also looking at rolling out FTTP in some areas.