While many will claim that the BDUK process has been a disaster, the stepped and measured approach has left lots of room for the ambitious and adventurous to provide the full fibre networks that are believed to be the future proof network of tomorrow delivered today.
Gigaclear is in the Financial Times today with news about the levels of investment they are seeking. Gigaclear also has the ambition to pass 10,000 homes with FTTP in 2014 and expand to 50,000 during 2015. This requires investment and it looks like around £2,000 per home as they are looking for something in the order of £100m. The capital raised on the investment market so far is around £7.8m, which will allow 25 new FTTP/FTTH clusters to be built this year, but many more communities want the Gigaclear service.
While it may seem a good thing for Gigaclear to campaign for public money, the strings attached to that funding can often complicate things and Gigaclear may find there is less interference and red tape with private investment and larger investment groups.
Looking forward if the UK is to break the cycle of subsidies for broadband then we will need more commercial operators like Gigaclear, Hyperoptic and CityFibre in both the urban and rural areas to wake up the cosy pairing of BT and Virgin Media.