Gigaclear secures extra £111m of funding for full fibre
Gigaclear is the good news broadband story this week and with £111 million of additional funding to allow the Fibre to the Premises to continue expanding its network it should be no suprise that that Matthew Hare is looking very pleased in the press release.
The £111m is equity funding with £60m from Infracapital and Woodford (£15m) who have previously invested in Gigaclear, other shareholders adding another £15m and a new investor putting in £35m. The new investor is RPMI Railpen who manages the Railways Pension Scheme.
The new funding should mean that Gigaclear can add another another 120,000 to 150,000 premises passed to its existing footprint. As things stand today we believe the network passes some 30,000 premises (~0.1 UK premises) and with the recent celebrations of the 10,000th customer we know that take-up is running at around 33%. The footprint looks much larger as by concentrating on a rural roll-out the number of premises per postcode is generally a lot lower than urban residential areas.
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Where Gigaclear is offering FTTP or building
If you follow Gigaclear news stories then comments will often mention that there is no provider choice, but the service is available on a wholesale basis and includes names like Exa Networks and RM Education. Another common mention is the cost of installing from the fibre pot to the home and if you are happy routing the fibre yourself from the boundary pot to inside your home this is covered by the £100 activation fee (range of pre-made fibre cables from 10m to 50m available for free) for those wanting a professional to do the work then cost is an additional £129 for routes of 10m or less, 10 to 35m £199.99 and 35 to 100 metres is £299.99. Longer distances are evaluated on an individual basis (10m for those who cannot easily visualise is the length of two Ford Focus cars with space to walk between them). For those upgrading from a world of free connections and paying just £20 per month for broadband the setup outlay may be significant and we hope that as Gigaclear expands that they will add more options for spreading the cost over 12 or 24 months. In areas which are part of the BDUK projects there are sometimes varying prices depending on the conditions of the contract.
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