Fibre broadband for the Wychwoods?

The UK Government is currently rolling out a scheme to improve rural internet connections, by using fibre-optic cables to connect each individual property to the local exchange, as an upgrade on the existing copper telephone wires. The upgrade will provide higher speeds and a much more reliable connection. The scheme provides vouchers, which are redeemed by suppliers on behalf of their customers, to help suppliers recover the cost of installing the new cables.

The supplier, Gigaclear, recently contacted residents to gauge the level of local interest. If there is sufficient local interest, Gigaclear will install the new cables and contact residents to confirm that Gigaclear can redeem a voucher on their behalf. For Gigaclear to do so, the resident must agree to take a broadband service from Gigaclear once the new cables are installed.

Gigaclear offer three packages priced between £39 and £49 per month, with download speeds of 30 to 300Mbps. The contracts are for 18 months and incur a £30 ‘activation’ fee, although the physical connection of the fibre cables to the property is free. This faster internet will be of particular value to our local area, given that almost 40% of properties in Chadlington & The Wychwoods have internet connections of less than 30Mbps, with the slower connections overwhelmingly concentrated in Milton.

Faster and more reliable internet would be of great benefit to our local community, and it is to be hoped that fibre broadband does indeed come to the Wychwoods in the near future.  More information on the government’s scheme can be found on https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/

Jack Sharples

April-May 2021