After what now appears to be a premature announcement of work starting earlier in 2015 Cotswolds Broadband has announced that the £1.6m Government grant has been signed off and with matched funding in the form of a loan from West Oxfordshire District Council and another £3.2m of private investment from Gigaclear it seems final network design and then the network build can start.
"We have long held the belief that homes and businesses shouldn’t have to sacrifice being at the forefront of the digital and technological age simply for living in a beautiful rural area. West Oxfordshire has an incredibly strong business community that deserves to be able to perform alongside the best in the world. This project will ensure no one is left in the slow lane and future-proof business’ digital capabilities. Because of this I am delighted that the pledge made by the District Council to achieve full coverage is now coming into fruition."Cllr Richard Langridge, Cabinet Member for Resources responsible for the broadband project at West Oxfordshire District Council
The network should cover roughly 6,000 premises and will utilise a mixture of fixed wireless and fibre to the premises (FTTH/P) to deliver a superfast service and reach the councils goal of 100% superfast coverage in the council area. The coverage in West Oxfordshire has grown considerably since our April news item with 69.7% superfast, with the figures as of 8/12/15 showing coverage at 85.6% (faster than 24 Mbps), 83.6% (30 Mbps or faster) and 1.8% of premises are believed to have access to a slower than 2 Mbps service.
We have asked a couple of questions around the Gigaclear involvement and whether they are planning to be one of the retail providers once the network goes live and have also requested coverage data.
Update Sunday 13th December Apologies all for the tardy update, but we had the answers to our questions late on Wednesday. Gigaclear will be one of the main retailers on the network and while things have run late things are underway now. In terms of coverage data we expect to be able to see a property level availability dataset in March 2015.