Gigaclear, provider of ultrafast pure fibre broadband, has begun installation of a fibre-to-the-home network in and around the Kent village of Underriver. Beginning April 2014, the installation represents an investment by Gigaclear of just under two million pounds and will see a new, ultrafast, fibre to the premises network installed to nearly 2000 homes and businesses in the area.
Frustrated by speeds of just a few Mbps and with little prospect of alternative provision in the short-term, residents approached Gigaclear about installing a network in the area. The fibre-to-the-premises network will give all residents the option of accessing speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps, some 60 times faster than the UK average*.
Mike Clyne, an Underriver resident explains, “Ultrafast broadband will have an immediate impact on many of those living and working in the area – from families and would-be home workers to local employers – including agricultural businesses who are now required to make regular online submissions to DEFRA. Ultrafast broadband will be key to the sustainability of the area. I think the biggest impact will be felt in a few years’ time as new, currently unthought-of online services and applications, are developed and higher speeds required. The Underriver network is future-proofed.”
Tom Morgan, General Manager of St Julians Club a business park, residential area and private member’s club comments, “The ultrafast broadband will make this a much more attractive place for businesses to base themselves and for people to live.”
Plaxtol resident, Stephen Massara says, “We are looking forward to improved broadband speed and reliability. At the moment even simple online actions such as ordering tickets for a concert or checking one’s bank account details can be difficult to complete. Ultrafast broadband could help children with their education and increase communication for more elderly members of the community. Based on experiences in other areas, even those who use the internet relatively infrequently could benefit from increased rental or sale prices on their properties.”
Matthew Hare, chief executive of Gigaclear said, “A large part of the success of this project has been down to the support of local residents, and the effective collaboration and information sharing from Kent County Council and Sevenoaks District Council throughout. We look forward to seeing the community reap benefits from the network in the short and long term future.”
Mark Dance, Kent County Council (KCC) Cabinet Member for Economic Development said, “This is an exciting day for the community and we are delighted that Gigaclear is taking forward this scheme in Kent. This is great innovation and will bring superfast broadband into even more homes and businesses – which perfectly complements KCC’s total commitment to extending the reach of superfast broadband across Kent.”
The first phase of the build to Wildernesse Estate, Blackhall Lane, Godden Green and Underriver is expected to be complete by early July. A second phase covering Bitchet Green, Stone Street, Ivy Hatch, Plaxtol, Ightham Common and Shipbourne is expected to be complete by the end of the summer.
*Source OFCOM Aug 2013