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Gigaclear aiming to have FTTP to 50,000 premises in 18 months
Wednesday 02 July 2014 09:35:52 by Andrew Ferguson

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.

Comments

Posted by hcrane over 2 years ago
Gigaclear have secured some public funding - see http://www.gigaclear.com/communities/northmoor/ and http://northmoorbroadband.co.uk/ for one example I know of for sure. Good to see this new private investment - here's hoping the public funding becomes available for larger projects.
Posted by whatever2 over 2 years ago
We certainly don't need more of Cityfibre and their vapourware offerings.
Posted by Michael_Chare over 2 years ago
The Underriver + project was described in the local paper as being a £2m project to connect upto 2,000 properties. With a 30% take up that works out at £3,333 per property connected which makes more financial sense. It is not blown fibre.
Posted by keith969 over 2 years ago
Gigaclear only provide fibre where they see fit - they are in the same league as BT and Virgin in this respect. I don't see why they should receive any public funding at all.
Posted by hcrane over 2 years ago
@keith969 - the _entire point_ of public funding (okay, what it _should_ do, not what it has done so far) is to make non-commercially-viable areas viable. What we have with BDUK is not that, it's making areas that are viable but less _desireable_ from BT/VM's perspective more attractive to encourage private investment.
Posted by hcrane over 2 years ago


Of course Gigaclear are only providing fibre where they see fit. They're a company. They're not idiots and they have to make money. There isn't a lot of money in spending vast sums of cash on very remote small communities. That's where public funding should step in and make it at least viable for them to spend money on those areas with support from government.
Posted by hcrane over 2 years ago
The Northmoor project linked above - Gigaclear wouldn't have done it. Neither would BT - for Gigaclear to have gotten that funding BT must have said they weren't doing it (state aid overlap, otherwise).

(Grr, short comment cap..)
Posted by mdar5 over 2 years ago
Correct:
Northmoor was coloured "white" on the original OCC August 2013 BDUK intervention map.
That means BDUK/BT were NOT intending to do anything about it under BDUK.

I believe Gigaclear got additional RCBF/?SEP? to cover it.

It went though a proper procurement evaluation as I recall where the BT offering was found unsuitable for future proofing.
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