More of West Berkshire’s off-the-beaten-track residents are now benefiting from ultrafast fibre broadband thanks to the collaboration between the Englefield Estate and rural broadband specialist, Gigaclear.
Despite only being a mile from the M4, some parts of rural West Berkshire are lagging behind when it comes to broadband speed.
The installation of Gigaclear’s full fibre ultrafast broadband network, delivers Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technology, will now give 12,000 homes and business in the area access to broadband speeds of up to 1,000Mbps (1Gbps).
This means people experiencing the full 1Gbps service will be able to download a three-hour feature film in 53 seconds, 23 songs could take 1.6 seconds to download and 200 photos will take less than nine seconds to upload.
Previously, homes and businesses in the area could only access speeds that were sometimes as low as 1Mbps.
Since the spring, Gigaclear has been installing ultrafast fibre broadband as part of Superfast Berkshire, which is part of the government’s national subsidised programme Broadband Delivery UK. The programme aims to improve internet speeds in areas, particularly sparsely populated rural areas, that are not covered by the private sector because they are not considered commercially viable.
In order to ensure as many tenants as possible benefit from the full fibre network, the Englefield Estate provided Gigaclear with free access to lay cables across Estate land in various parishes, therefore providing those in the most remote locations access to a future proofed connection.
The collaboration between the Estate and Gigaclear has meant that off the beaten track households, who would otherwise have had to cover these significant costs themselves, have been included in the scheme with only standard connection fees to pay.
Phase two of the project, which is ensuring that thousands more West Berkshire residents are connected, commenced in the spring and is due to come to an end this autumn.
Gigaclear’s investment of £16m, combined with contributions from Broadband Delivery UK, the West Berkshire Council, and Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, means that phase two of the project will see ultrafast coverage expand to in excess of 99 per cent of West Berkshire by the end of 2017.
In his role as an MP, Richard Benyon was a signatory to the accord which brought Gigaclear into the West Berkshire area.
James Holbrook-Bull, Estate Surveyor at Englefield Estate, said: “The internet plays a significant part in the lives of most households these days, professionally or socially, and anyone who has experienced slow internet connection speeds will know how frustrating it can be, so we were keen to work with Gigaclear to ensure as many of our tenants could benefit from the Superfast Berkshire programme as possible.”
Joe Frost, Business Development Director at Gigaclear, added: “Decent broadband is no longer just a nice to have, it’s a vital service that homes and businesses rely on. Rural areas like West Berkshire need the right infrastructure to allow them to connect, so we are delighted to have worked with Englefield Estate to provide residents with a high quality and future-proofed solution.”