The sleepy village of Hambleton lies in the heart of the old county of Rutland. In the winter Hambleton, surrounded by Rutland water, can feel quite a remote place. The wind whistles eerily across the choppy white topped waters of the lake and the snow can drift deep on the single road that leads into the peninsula. It it not unknown for the village to be cut off from the outside world and this has indeed happened during the harsh winters of recent times.
Fortunately when this does happen the foolish, unwary and now stranded individuals are able to seek refuge by the warmth of the log fire and bask in the friendly welcome that is characteristic of Hambleton Hall. The Hall, “One of England’s finest country house hotels” has luxury overnight accommodation (a snip at between £245 and £360 a room) and their Michelin starred chef will assuage the needs of the hungriest. To round off the perfect enforced stay the Hall has free wifi for all guests.
Of course how fast an internet access guests will get from this wifi is another thing – Hambleton really is in the middle of internet nowhere.
This is all about to change
as in September of this year serial entrepreneur Matthew Hare strode through the open doors of Hambleton Hall to announce that he was going to provide them with a 1Gig Fibre To The Premises (FTTP broadband) internet connection.
Matthew last year sold his previous business Community Internet to MDNX and proceeded to plough some of the proceeds into Gigaclear with a vision of building a UK wide fibre network.
How can this be I hear you cry?
The Gigaclear network is financed from a group of private investors from Hambleton Village. The model sees a long-term loan secured against the network so that the investors reap a triple benefit: a financial return, a stronger sense of community, and an Ultrafast Internet experience.
Every customer will see latest technology installed with a fully-supported router capable of 1000 Mbps. Each router comprises:
– Gigabit fibre network interface
– 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports connecting home network devices
– Wireless BGN up to 300 Mbps
– IPv4 and IPv6 Firewall
The network is built and managed by Gigaclear with Rutland Telecom as the service provider with customer service and technical support delivered locally, and an initial offering of up to 50 Mbps internet access and IP telephony.
Hare reports: ‘This Hambleton build is the start of the Gigaclear plan for ultrafast connection in rural communities. Our focus is national, and targeted in areas where there is a high demand for secure, high quality connections.’
Gigaclear leverages deep understanding of best practice from experienced operators in the UK, across Europe, and throughout the world. Gigaclear is building fast, cost-efficient, and high-quality networks. Matthew adds:
‘Gigaclear in Hambleton clearly shows that it is possible to deliver FTTH in rural areas, and it can be delivered now.’
I look forward so seeing Matthew build out his network. If he can make it happen expect to see him in the New Years Honours list in 2015.
8 replies on “Gigaclear Set to Show UK How to Build FTTP Broadband Network at Hambleton, Rutland”
I’m surprised you haven’t covered the costs of the scheme. From memory it’s about £6k per home connected and the monthly tariffs are neither cheap nor equipped with generous data allocations.
Not sure this is the leading light on how to do it for the UK – maybe it’s “upper class FTTH” ?
I don’t have the financials to hand. However I’m going to see the network next week so will be able to ask more questions. Whether Gigaclear will go public with the financial data is another thing though it would very much be of interest to people.
Locals who registered their interest before 1st December 2010 will also benefit from a free connection. Sadly anybody who didn’t will have to stump up a shocking £1,000 +vat, which includes the legal costs of a wayleave agreement. Thankfully most won’t need to pay that.
I think its brill, and 50meg is only the start, anyone who gets a fibre in has a futureproof connection which can be upgraded to terrabits when needed. Kudos to men of grit.
” Hambleton Service Offerings:
•Residential package 50Mbps download, 5Mbps upload 25GB usage allowance standard contention and free router for £50/month, 12 month contract.
•Business package: 50Mbps download, 50Mbps upload 250GB usage allowance, low contention and free router for £100/month, 12 month contract. ”
Not really a saleable proposition in the current market with high prices and modest allowances. Subsequent data £1/GB.
No way it would pay at £6k per home connected either. Takeup elsewhere would be very low, sort of thing seen in Italy etc.
Not a model for widespread deployment, in my view. Won’t work as a private investment, way too expensive for public purse. It’s the tech equivalent of coke snorting.
With average speed in the local area reported a 0.7Mbps – they need something to bring them into the modern day of internet, all of the 140 (Census 2001) residents!
[…] time to invest. We can always find the money from somewhere. Whilst I occasionally write a post (here here here) about entrepreneurs in parts of the country rolling out 1Gig connections to remote […]
Hampleton is basically 2 roads with grass verges. There are 2 or 3 narrow road crossings and BT are proving the link (BT covers seen). Smart area!