In partnership with Superfast Berkshire, Gigaclear has laid over 55km of fibre in the last nine months to build to over 1,800 homes and businesses, and activated nearly 2,500 previously built connections to its full fibre to the property (FTTP) network in East Berkshire.

The swift progress, which has seen seven communities in Wokingham and two in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead go live since November, came after the successful crossing of the Great Western Main Line near Twyford.  More communities are expected to go live in the coming months and work has since begun to connect seven new communities.

Laura Jones, South Central General Manager at Gigaclear, comments: “Building ultrafast broadband networks in rural areas is naturally challenging, that’s why other suppliers have failed to reach these communities.  We regularly have to negotiate wayleaves and overcome complicated obstacles, as was the case in East Berkshire.

“Railways are heavily protected by legislation and crossing them is an exceptional engineering feat – they can slow us down considerably.  But now that we have successfully crossed the rail line which separated East Berkshire from the rest of our ultrafast network, we have been able to make real headway in the area at an incredible pace, laying 40km of cable – the equivalent distance from Windsor Castle to Buckingham Palace – to get as many communities connected as we can. 

“COVID-19 has slowed us down, but the situation just goes to show how important connectivity is.  Our work is considered essential by Government, so we have been able to continue working where safe to do so and we hope to connect the remaining properties in the area as soon as possible.”

David Scott, Head of Communities at Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, says, “RBWM are pleased that Gigaclear are making significant progress to install this new ultrafast network to many of the more remote and rural parts of the Borough. There is very little we all do today that does not need connectivity to the internet, and so for those who have to date not had access to a superfast connection this latest progress is exciting and very welcome.

Anita Anand, Project Director at the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport, says, “BDUK are pleased that Gigaclear have made great progress in reaching so many communities in rural areas through some extremely challenging times.  We are excited to see many more communities go live in the coming months.”

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