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Gigaclear wins deal to deliver FTTP to part of rural Berkshire - updated
Friday 03 July 2015 15:19:53 by Andrew Ferguson

Gigaclear has picked up another deal with a phase 2 BDUK project, this time Berkshire. At this time know very little about the deal other than INCA sent out a press release telling the world.

"Whilst most of the government’s rural broadband funding has gone to BT, some local authorities like Berkshire are looking at what the alternative providers can offer. Those that do find that the independents are flexible, offer great value for money and are focused on delivering fantastic services for local communities. Gigaclear is an excellent example and in villages benefiting from their all-fibre gigabit infrastructure people talk about the transformation in their lives from the ‘digital dark ages’ BG (Before Gigaclear) to the new world of gigabit broadband AG - After Gigaclear."

Extract from INCA press release
thinkbroadband calculation of Superfast Broadband Coverage in the constituencies that form Berkshire- updated 3rd July 2015
Area % fibre based % superfast
30 Mbps or faster
% cable % Openreach FTTP % Under 2 Mbps USC % Under 5 Mbps (new USO) % Under 15 Mbps
Bracknell 97.7% 93.6% 51.5% 0% 0.3% 1% 4.7%
Maidenhead 93.3% 87.1% 51.4% 0% 0.6% 2.6% 7.3%
Newbury 76.7% 69.3% 41.6% 0% 1% 10.3% 19.4%
Reading East 98% 96.7% 87% 0% 0.7% 1% 1.3%
Reading West 97.6% 95.6% 81.7% 0% 1.2% 1.6% 3%
Slough 98.7% 96.2% 0% 0% 0.1% 1.5% 2.6%
Windsor 91.7% 86.8% 41.6% 0% 1.1% 1.9% 6.6%
Wokingham 92.4% 88.2% 60.8% 0% 0.8% 3.7% 7.6%

While we do not know the number of premises involved and value of the deal in terms of likely premises to be covered has been provided yet, based on the current phase 1 roll-out position the area most likely to benefit would be in the rural parts of the Newbury constituency which is the largest constituency in terms of land mass in the county.

Saturday 4th July The council press release has been made public providing a lot more detail, namely the Gigaclear roll-out will cover 11,700 premises across West Berkshire with Gigabit FTTP/FTTH. Additionally Call Flow Solutions will provide a FTTC based service from eleven new cabinets on the Windsor, Maidenhead, Burchett's Green and Horton exchanges bringing superfast to another 1,750 premises.

Timescale wise work by Gigaclear is expected to start in November 2015 and complete in the middle of 2017. The combination of the commercial roll-outs, phase 1 and these phase 2 projects means 99% of premises in West Berkshire will have access to superfast and it will have around 60% coverage at ultra-fast speeds (100 Mbps or faster). The Gigaclear gigabit network is worth around 15 to 20% in terms of coverage and if all the talk about the benefits of FTTH are realised the parts of West Berkshire should be on course for a massive boost in their local economy.

In terms of the money being spent, West Berkshire has got a very good deal from Gigaclear as £3.7m of public money is overwhelmed by £16m from Gigaclear, suggesting a premises passed cost of £1684. The FTTC work by CallFlow will be funded by £415,000 of public money and £120,000 from Call Flow, giving a figure of £48636 per cabinet or £305 per premise passed.


Posted by ccxo about 1 year ago
Ispreview have 11,700 homes with £3.7m of public funding by the end of 2017.

It will be interesting to see the deployment plans as most of the large villages are covered by phase 1 but their are still a few not covered.

Posted by ahockings about 1 year ago
Dear Gigaclear.
Pleeeeeeese could you come down and do Devon and Somerset???
Pretty please with sugar on top and chocolate sprinkles!!
Posted by fastman about 1 year ago
Fastman curious were Ahockings is actually is in Devon and Somerset
Posted by silverdove about 1 year ago
....and Cornwall!

Cream tea awaits!
Posted by fastman about 1 year ago
interesting latest cornwall figures suggest pushing high 90's for Superfast once project finshes
Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
I know INCA have to sell their members, but the impression that only Gigaclear can lift anyone out of the digital dark ages is quite funny.

In reality, anyone giving these people proper superfast access will achieve that.

All the same, I imagine a lot of authorities look on with jealousy - "Why aren't Gigaclear offering to pay 80% costs in *our* county?"
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
I can understand Berkshire adding some FTTP capacity but Callflow at those prices for FTTC cabs is difficult to understand.
It would be good to understand whether BT's capacity constraints is forcing this matter.
Posted by gerarda about 1 year ago

or indeed "why aren't BT"
Posted by themanstan about 1 year ago

Why difficult? These are not nice rural connections... so Call Flow will have to build duct out to all cabinets. Not a few hundreds of mts nice urban/rural, but kilometres. So like I've said rural costing for cabs are considerably higher (than sub-uraban/nice rural) due to long duct digs, where none are available (Call Flow will have no infrastructure at all).
Posted by silverdove about 1 year ago
fastman - depends what they mean. True there may be superfast to >90% of the cabs, but, for example, my postcode says I can receive Fast Broadband (17meg) BUT as I'm 3000mtrs from the cabinet then there is no chance. The irony is that I can see St Austell three miles away where Superfast is available. My average for June was 1.82 down and 0.33 up.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago

Cornwall has a high fibre availability, but geography does mean superfast is a fair bit lower, hence the project continuing and it seems continuing to add FTTP
Posted by silverdove about 1 year ago
The final 4.7% will probably never happen unless it done by wireless/satellite - which will be costly and not unrestricted.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@themanstan difficult for the following reasons, BT overlay costs ought to be cheaper, Callflow will be paying full SLU costs to BT not a state aid based incremental cost. The total intvention area was 48k NGA premises and 11k basic with a budget of £8m, with subsidies of £4m for the estimated 247 cabs. So they should plenty funds to roll over from Sept15 when the contract was due for completion.
Posted by ccxo about 1 year ago
@VFM 247 cabs is a bit high for phase 1, as only 88 have been completed as of the 3rd July 2015, with another 30 planned- 9 are still in survey and 12 postponed.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@CCXO thanks, are we to read a significant resource issue and breech of the Sept 15?
If only a 139 cabs, then no gap funding would be needed. Are these numbers in the public domain?
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@CCXO what proportion of the 48k NGA area will be receive service from that 139? Your total cost before BT capital contribution ought to be less than £20k per can, still £1.3m of subsidy before BT pay anything.
Posted by themanstan about 1 year ago
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@themanstan Thank you. Gosh, Phase 1 then, given the budget had little ambition. Is the resource or appeitite not there to keep going? I am not sure people care about dates as long as they get on the list.
Posted by ccxo about 1 year ago
@VFM 18,054 total home passed with the 88 enabled cabinets, below is the anticipated coverage for the project at the start and by September 2015.

The main thing is that aside from West Berks the other 5 districts where close to 90-95% coverage already and phase 1 was to get the county to 92% superfast coverage.

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