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Gigaclear appointed to build pure fibre network in Northmoor
Monday 03 March 2014 16:58:42 by Andrew Ferguson

The Rural Community Broadband Fund (RCBF) has often been ridiculed, but another project is set to benefit from the fund. The Parish of Northmoor in Oxfordshire has managed to secure funding for broadband improvements and via a procurement process ran by West Oxfordshire District Council Gigaclear has been appointed to build a network in the area.

This means that once the neighbouring Stanton & Harcourt Sutton network build by Gigaclear has finished they would move down the road to Northmoor and commence construction of their 1000 Mbps FTTP network to homes and businesses. The time scale is such that work is hoped to complete by September 2014.

"We are acutely aware of the importance of fast, reliable broadband, and the difficulties faced by communities in our rural district in gaining access to this. The local community broadband project group in Northmoor parish has done a sterling job in bringing this project forward and our Council is delighted to have supported them through the procurement process and appoint Gigaclear to make this scheme a reality. It will make a huge difference to those living and working there."

Cllr Richard Langridge, Cabinet Member for Communities at WODC

The network build is also set to include some caravans in a caravan park that was flooded back in January 2014 during the winter that did not know when to stop raining. This probably means that they will be the fastest caravans in the country.

The sign-up page is open for already for those keen to secure themselves a connection at the earliest date possible.

Update 6pm We have spoke with Gigaclear and the lower priced £23 service mentioned on the Northmoor page is a lifeline service, with 2 Mbps symmetric speeds designed for those on a budget or without the permanent need for faster speeds (a boost giving 1000 Mbps and lasting two days is available for £4.80). £23 may sound expensive for a 2 Mbps service, but remember that there is no need to pay copper voice line rental (£10 to £16 per month) which is often more expensive than the entry level broadband products.The lifeline product is only available on the Northmoor network and is a result of the grant funding.


Posted by cyberdoyle over 3 years ago
Wowsers, that is excellent news indeed. Is this the first proper use of funding in the country? A real fibre network being supported by the government. I can hardly believe it. Congratulations to Gigaclear and to the lucky people of Northmoor.
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
Any bets on when BT will announce FTTC coverage there?
Posted by SMabille over 3 years ago
@mikejp I bet a couple of weeks, but the mailing for virtually free broadband and half price rental for 12 months when committing to 24 is probably already in the post....

Glad to see Gigaclear beating BT and getting subsides. I'm lucky enough to be with them for a few months now and really can't fault it!
Posted by Michael_Chare over 3 years ago
Is 2 Mbps good enough for a VOIP phone?
Posted by PeterProxy over 3 years ago
More than enough for VOIP.
Posted by herdwick over 3 years ago
a mobile phone works with 64k so VoIP isn't going to need 0.5M let alone 2M.
Posted by Michael_Chare over 3 years ago
Well my broadband connects at 1.5 mbps. I have never made an interruption free VOIP call. The problem is no doubt the contention somewhere on the connection rather than the basic connection speed.
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
VoIP, like all speech, is bi-directional. It isn't usually the downstream that is the limiting factor, but upstream.

Your totally-uncompressed, 1980's, System-X digital speech is encoded at 64Kbps, aka A-law or G.711. G.726 works at 32Kbps, while GSM speech is encoded at 13Kbps, and is obviously lower quality.

You can usually trade-off between quality and bitrate, to suit your conditions.
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
So £23pm as a lifeline service, with the "normal" minimum price being £37pm for 50/50, plus £6pm for a VoIP service.

I'm sure if I lived in northmoor, it'd be an option I went for.

But if you want a static IP, the minimum service becomes the 200/200 service at £49pm. That's a hefty premium - when Plusnet will do it for a £5 one-off payment.
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
It'll be hard for BT to announce FTTC coverage. The area was removed from the BDUK coverage, wasn't it?
Posted by AndrueC over 3 years ago
@WWWombat: Not really. Their beancounters/planners can now justify it as targeting a competitor. Plenty of businesses have indulged in loss-leading products in order to stifle the competition.

Morally very questionable but from a business perspective potentially sensible.
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
"It'll be hard for BT to announce FTTC coverage" - I take it you have been out of touch for a while?!
Posted by fastman over 3 years ago
Andruec -- FYI Bt is not allowed to loss lead or cross subsidise its part of regulation so no BOGOF - also if this ia white exchnage theire will be no BDUk bulld as wll be not not be white anymore
Posted by mdar5 over 3 years ago
According to the prelim OxCouCncil BDUK rollout map I have Northmoor was in White.
This map was done down to cabinet level: it has since disappeared from the OCC website.
I imagine it caused too much trouble in that is showed up quite clearly who was going to get nothing - bad for votes you see.
Posted by berbles over 3 years ago
Cor, we'd all love to see that map.
Any chance you can post it?
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