Gloucestershire has just started to see the 6,500 premises receive a Gigabit service from Gigaclear from a phase 2 contract and now another £2m has been handed down from Westminster to increase the level of ultrafast coverage in the county.
This new £2m is expected to be match funded locally and whoever gets the contract would also be expected to make some private investment and given Gigaclear has won previous work it seems fair to suggest they may be inline for this next contract that is likely to involve Cinderford, Coleford, Drybrook, Longhope, Lydbrook, St. Briavels and Whitecroft. Of course there is nothing stopping BT bidding and if it was to win a pure FTTP contract that would be a first.
Gloucestershire once the current Gigaclear roll-out completes will have ultrafast coverage of 40.7%, comprising 37.3% Virgin Media cable, 1% Openreach FTTP and 1.4% from Gigaclear. If we wanted to be pedantic we could use the Ofcom definition of ultrafast of 300 Mbps, when the coverage would be 1% + 1.4%, but as we expect Virgin Media to announce a 300 Mbps product in the next year there seems little point.
These next wave of premises form part of the Forest of Dean and the current coverage levels can be see on our checker where superfast broadband coverage at 30 Mbps or faster is at 60.1% currently (a rise of 13.6 percentage points in 2015). This does not include the existing Gigaclear contract which will be rolled into the system once the champagne has been popped from reaching the 90% superfast target, but we do include Gigaclear in the postcode search area.