Gigaclear is investing £5.5 million in the Superfast Essex Rural Challenge Project
The first stage of digging has begun to bring “ultrafast” broadband to homes and businesses in Essex, as part of the £7.5 million Superfast Essex Rural Challenge Project.
Ultrafast broadband provider Gigaclear is installing its pure fibre cable network directly to more than 4,500 homes and businesses. Gigaclear’s “pure fibre” service will deliver internet speeds of up to 1,000mbps, 40 times faster than the UK average, said Gigaclear.
Homes and businesses in 18 parishes will have access to Gigaclear’s ultrafast service as a result of the Rural Challenge Project. Parts of Abbess Beauchamp and Berners Roding, Bobbingworth, Fyfield, High Ongar, Moreton, Ongar, Stanford Rivers and Willingale are expected to be included in the first phase of work taking place between now and May 2016.
The Superfast Essex Rural Challenge Project contract was awarded to Gigaclear in June 2015. The pilot project was designed to test an alternative way of bringing faster connectivity to rural areas which were until now not included within the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) rollout.
The main BDUK project in Essex, which is being implemented by BT, is on track to provide 116,000 premises with access to superfast speeds of 24mbps and above by 2019, using fibre-to-the-cabinet technology.
Matthew Hare, chief executive at Gigaclear, said: “By installing a new fibre-to-the-premises network we are giving residents and businesses in the Epping Forest District internet speeds that will transform their online experience.
“Living in a rural area doesn’t mean you have to tolerate bad broadband, and we’re here working with the Superfast Essex team and Epping Forest District Council to future-proof communications within the Epping Forest District.
Gigaclear will invest £5.5 million in the Rural Challenge Project, which equates to more than £2 for every £1 of state aid, said Gigaclear. It will be combined with £2 million in public funding from Essex County Council, BDUK and Epping Forest District Council.