Gigaclear has awarded a £90million contract to Complete Utilities to connect almost 70,000 properties across Herefordshire and Gloucestershire to its Ultrafast full fibre broadband network. The work, Phase 2 of the ongoing Fastershire project, will take around three years to complete and will connect 173 cabinets across the two counties, giving residents access to Internet speeds of up to 1Gbps.
Complete Utilities will use narrow trenching, an innovative construction technique, to lay multi-way ducts giving homes and businesses access to Gigaclear’s network. As customers request connection to the new ultrafast network, the full fibre cables will be blown through the duct to their property.
This methodology not only increases the build speed and minimises disruption to the local community during construction, it also facilitates future expansion of the network by allowing new fibre to be added without the need to dig and lay new cables – thus enabling Gigaclear’s network to reach more rural homes and businesses, more quickly.
Brett Shepherd, Gigaclear’s Chief Operating Officer, comments: “Having successfully worked with Complete Utilities in Fastershire over the past two years, we’re really delighted to be strengthening and extending our partnership with them. The innovative construction methods they have proposed will put us at the forefront of the industry, enabling us to deliver our broadband network more efficiently and with minimal disruption to local communities. We’re looking forward to working together to bring thousands of properties in rural Herefordshire and Gloucestershire into the 21st century!”
Steve Chaplin, Complete Utilities Managing Director, says: “As a business based in rural Gloucestershire ourselves, we take great pride in playing such a key role in the delivery of a completely new broadband network in the area. We’re also really pleased to have an opportunity to demonstrate the positive impact that the latest methodologies will have on the future of network delivery in the UK. Combined with our rapid reinstatement process, we’ll be able to work more quickly, reduce waste and cut costs, resulting in a win-win for local communities, local authorities and our commercial partners.”
Cllr Lynden Stowe, cabinet member for economy, skills and growth at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “It’s great news that local company Complete Utilities have been awarded this contract by Gigaclear. This means that Fastershire will now not only be benefitting residents and businesses by providing faster broadband, but that we have job creation in County and the economic benefits this brings.”
Fastershire is a partnership between Gloucestershire County Council and Herefordshire Council to bring faster broadband to the two counties. Funding is drawn from central government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme and matched by the local authorities.