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Underriver meets it demand target for FTTH
Monday 28 January 2013 14:03:45 by Andrew Ferguson

Residents of Underriver have hit their demand trigger level for ultrafast broadband from Gigaclear in just eight weeks and an Open Day was well attended with 90 attending to listen to the Gigaclear presentation and ask questions. The next stage of the project will be for those living in the area to commit to ordering the service and once Gigaclear has enough orders they will commence building the network.

"We had a great turnout for the Open Day which exceeded our expectations. In talking to many people after the meetings, their questions were answered and they came away understanding more about an FTTH network. There is a reality that we are comfortable with which is that this opportunity won’t tempt everybody but I am utterly determined that the order target will be reached and by the autumn we will be celebrating Switch On Days in our communities."

Mike Clyne,

Underriver is not miles from civilisation, with the likely roll-out running area up to the edge of Sevenoaks, but as things stand there are no commercial plans for better broadband in the area and the Kent BDUK project has yet to announce any plans either. In theory if the level of firm orders is reached quickly the residents will have the option of full fibre broadband at symmetric Gigabit speeds around October 2013, and with Gigaclear installing up to the edge of every property in the area even those who did not place a pre-order will have the option to connect, meaning that future residents can also benefit.


Posted by pcoventry76 over 4 years ago
I'm doing something simular. Gigaclear are really upfront and good about things. If your within 3KM of the fibre ring you can get it if you hit the required signups.
Posted by Michael_Chare over 4 years ago
So in a couple of months Gigaclear have found enough potential customers to make the project financially viable.

It does make you wonder why BT could not have done the same, as it is, if people find VOIP satisfactory, BT will just loose 30+% of their customers in this area.
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago
Economics, they've set aside £2.5B for rollout and applied it to areas where they feel they can recover the debt incurred soonest.
Same reason VM hasn't rolled out in these areas. Although VM is sitting on a higher debt to turnover ratio.
Smaller, more agile companies are better placed for selective projects like this. However, there are not enough of them and they do occasionally go under.
Posted by New_Londoner over 4 years ago
The real shame is that those residents that want to use fast broadband services with a choice of ISPs will almost certainly lose out, as will those that can't afford the steep pricing offered by Gigaclear - nearly £40 a month the last time I looked!
Posted by cyberdoyle over 4 years ago
Anyone who actually 'uses' the broadband cannot take advantage of cheap ISP deals, they are only suitable for little old ladies who check their mail once a week. A family or business is soon shunted up to higher tarifs. I checked out the plusnet '£2.99' a month offer, and for a rural village the tarif jumps over a tenner for the basic service, plus a phone line (or two bonded) and before you know it, especially if you game or youview you are on to over £40 for a poor service. Giagaclear is cheap.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
If checking email just once a week then ANY service is expensive, the better option would be to use a free WiFi service when out shopping, or borrow neighbours connection over a cup of tea once a week.
Posted by New_Londoner over 4 years ago
IIRC the average amount downloaded is around 23MB/month, which means 50% download less than that, so not many need high speeds and the associated costs. If they did then takeup from the two thirds of the country that can g "superfast" peers would be higher.

Posted by New_Londoner over 4 years ago
I've no problem offering high speeds as I use it myself, but would hate to see choices made by an affluent, self-serving minority closing off options for the rest. Lack of choice of ISPs is very restrictive, £40+ a month *is* expensive for an entry-level product, And that's before looking at connection charges, installation costs etc!

In my view this is something for the affluent but ill-informed. No doubt others will disagree but it's my opinion.
Posted by Michael_Chare over 4 years ago
@New_Londoner. If 23MB/month was the median amount downloaded then 50% would download less.
If you deduct the cost of say a BT line rental from the £37 per month, the cost of the broadband is cheaper than most BT products. The connection/installation cost is £100 for a DIY effort which 30% of customers do. Gigaclear have stated that they will allow connection to other ISPs later this month.
Posted by New_Londoner over 4 years ago
My rental is just over £10/month (I pay annually to save money), and there are a large number of ISPs offering broadband at a lot less than £27 a month. So I really think over £40 month with VOIP is expensive for an average user - more if you ave to retain the phone line too for an alarm etc.

As for DIY installation, noted but as you say, the majority don't do ths, so the reality is that most pay rather more than the £100 connection fee - especially if they want the fibre put in duct properly and not just laid on the ground.
Posted by Michael_Chare over 4 years ago
At the moment I actually pay less than £8 pm for more GBytes that I ever use + annual BT line rental but my line always syncs below 2mbps. FTTC won't do much if anything for me if it were available because there is 5km of mostly aluminium between me and the cabinet.
BT would want a 4 figure installation fee for FTTP whenever it becomes available, so I regard myself as fortunate that a local group invited Gigaclear, as now I have a fast or slow choice. I might also get a reliable phone service as the cable will be underground. BT have had to fix the line 3 times in the past year.
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