The fastest Internet speeds ever witnessed in the county were recorded today as local residents and members of Gloucestershire County Council gathered to test out Gigaclear’s new Fibre-to-the-Premises technology. Broadband speeds of up to 950 Mbps upload and 950 Mbps download were achieved, with the switch on meaning that staff, customers and guests were able to download a TV episode in 36 seconds, nearly 15 minutes faster than before.
Gigaclear’s ultrafast Internet speeds, which are up to 30 times faster than the UK average, are available as a result of a £7 million investment from Gigaclear and £3m national funding from BDUK and Gloucestershire County Council. Fastershire was the first project in the country to appoint an Internet service provider other than BT, under the government subsidised scheme.
The rollout will now continue, with residents in Coberley, Upper Coberley, Cockleford, Colesbourne, Cowley, Elkstone, Seven Springs and Stockwell, set to have access to Gigaclear’s ultrafast Internet service in the first quarter of 2016.
Simon Haly who, with his wife Nicky, manages the Green Dragon Inn said: “We never expected to get anything like this so quickly, especially as we’re right in the middle of the countryside. Historically we’ve hardly had any speed at all; it has been like dial-up! So to go from that to this level of record-breaking speed is incredible.
“It’s going to have a big impact on our business too. For instance, around 10-20% of our trade is business-related; we’ve nine guest rooms and two function rooms. Being able to better serve this community is really important. In fact we had a big business customer say that they’d no longer be able to use us for their meetings if our broadband didn’t improve – and that was a year’s worth of bookings. So this development today is fantastic news.”
In June, Gloucestershire County Council appointed Gigaclear as delivery partner for Fastershire’s phase 2 broadband roll out. The Internet service provider will give 6,500 homes and businesses in the Cotswolds access to broadband speeds of up to 1Gbps.
Matthew Hare, Chief Executive at Gigaclear, said: “This is an extremely exciting time for Gigaclear and for the residents and businesses of the Cotswolds. Providing the Green Dragon Inn with access to the UK’s fastest broadband will make it an even more appealing venue for accommodation, events and socialising. Those coming in for business lunches and meetings can check their emails without having to go back to the office. For local residents, it means they can Skype a friend across the world, download an HD film and do their Christmas shopping online, all at ultrafast speeds without any buffering whatsoever. All in the comfort of this fantastic local pub. We are working hard to get more customers connected before Christmas.”
Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: “Fastershire’s partnership with Gigaclear is producing ultrafast results just eight weeks after the first digging began, and I’m looking forward to how local residents and businesses like the Green Dragon take advantage of the benefits of enhanced broadband.”
Geoffrey Robert Clifton-Brown, Member of Parliament for The Cotswolds, said: “It is brilliant news that the first ultrafast broadband cabinet under the new Fastershire and Gigaclear partnership is being launched. I welcomed this partnership when it was announced, having campaigned during the General Election on the issue of broadband connectivity in The Cotswolds, which is absolutely essential is the modern world. I look forward to many more announcements of this kind.”