Aylesbury Vale Broadband Ltd (AVB) today announced that it has agreed to sell the assets of its business to Gigaclear, the leading provider of full fibre broadband in rural locations. The acquisition will enable Gigaclear to serve the seven villages connected through AVB, as well as expand the ultrafast fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network further across Aylesbury Vale.
The development of the network, which was initiated by AVB in 2015 due to a lack of action in the area from the major broadband providers, has enabled almost 300 properties to access speeds of up to 1Gbps (1,000Mbps). Before this date, locals had experienced very limited and unreliable internet connections with speeds as low as 1Mbps, which left them in a digital black hole that hampered individuals, schools and local businesses.
Janet Blake, AVB Board member and Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) councillor said: “We are extremely proud of everything AVB has achieved. We started AVB with local resident Andrew Mills and he has very much been a part of AVB’s success. He approached us with a great idea about starting AVB and by working in partnership we’ve achieved a service many were saying wasn’t possible before. Our primary aim was to bring high speed broadband to rural parts of Aylesbury Vale that, otherwise, had little likelihood of being connected.
“We now have one of the most advanced broadband infrastructures of any rural district in the UK. Having stimulated the market, the time is right to pass the reins on to a company with the resources to grow the network and benefit many more residents and businesses. Like us, Gigaclear wants to provide a great service and we’re confident they will build on the great foundations that we’ve laid.”
Brett Shepherd, Chief Operating Officer of Gigaclear, added: “We’re delighted to take over the infrastructure that AVB has laid to enable the local Aylesbury Vale residents to access future proofed technology. Our intention is to make this process as seamless as possible for existing customers, as well as expand our offering so more of the local community can connect to our network quickly and experience the very best broadband technology.”
AVDC was the major AVB shareholder and provided the funding for the initial build through a commercial loan as part of a wider investment in the local broadband infrastructure. The sale of the business assets to Gigaclear was agreed by a General Purposes committee meeting of the council on 20 November 2017.
Gigaclear has purchased the assets of the business, rather than the AVB company itself, which means that existing customers will be invited to migrate onto the Gigaclear network following the acquisition. A dedicated customer services line has been set up to respond to any queries from both new and existing customers: 01865 664220.
Gigaclear, which focuses on providing full fibre broadband to often forgotten about rural communities, is already drawing up plans to make improvements to the current infrastructure to ensure current customers receive an ever improving service. It also has further commercial investment planned to connect additional homes in the surrounding area.