Oxfordshire villages made fit for the future through DEFRA funding
Oxfordshire, 03 March 2014 – Gigaclear, provider of ultrafast pure fibre broadband has been appointed to design, build, implement, and operate a fibre-to-the-premises broadband network in the Parish of Northmoor – delivering a future-proofed and reliable broadband service for residents.
Gigaclear applied for the contract via an open procurement process conducted by West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) after the Parish secured a Rural Community Broadband Fund (RCBF) grant from the Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
Better broadband scored very highly in a survey of residents’ needs. The village is a long way from the nearest telephone exchanges and 14 per cent of respondents said they could get no broadband service at all. 25 per cent of respondents were either from business premises or from residential premises used by people to work from home and/or run their own businesses.
Graham Shelton, Chair of the Parish Council and Leader of the Broadband Group comments, “Better broadband was clearly a priority in such a rural location. We spoke to Oxfordshire County Council and were informed from the start that, because of its location, the Parish would be likely to fall outside the area covered by the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) subsidy. That freed us to pursue other options. Our District Council helped us finalise our RCBF bid, and find a suitable provider through an independent procurement process – ensuring the community obtained a socially-inclusive service and good value for money.”
Graham continues, “We were aware of Gigaclear’s work elsewhere, so were delighted they won on the merit of their application. The network will ensure that everyone can obtain equally superfast broadband and that it will be available to all properties in the Parish – including a number of caravans. Better broadband will make a big difference in this community.”
Gigaclear is expected to start construction of this network once the Stanton Harcourt and Sutton network is complete, finishing in September this year.
Cllr Richard Langridge, Cabinet Member for Communities at WODC, said, “We are acutely aware of the importance of fast, reliable broadband, and the difficulties faced by communities in our rural district in gaining access to this. The local community broadband project group in Northmoor parish has done a sterling job in bringing this project forward and our Council is delighted to have supported them through the procurement process and appoint Gigaclear to make this scheme a reality. It will make a huge difference to those living and working there.”
Matthew Hare, Chief Executive of Gigaclear comments, “Frustration levels were clearly high in Northmoor – particularly among those trying to use the network for work. We are delighted that, by working together, we have been able to come up with a solution that will work for residents both now and in future.”
Gigaclear is a privately funded communications operator dedicated to building and operating Ultrafast fibre to the premises broadband networks in rural communities. With pure fibre connectivity to every property in a community, delivering open, ultrafast broadband access, customers have complete control over the choice of services they wish to use. The company was founded in December 2010 by its chief executive, Matthew Hare. For further information about qualifying communities see www.gigaclear.com/can-i-get-it
Olivia Rees Gigaclear Marketing Manager +44 (0)1865 591128
Jane Harris Alexander PR for Gigaclear +44 (0) 7793 917172