Work to connect more than 14,000 homes and businesses in West Berkshire to Superfast Broadband has now finished.
Since work began in 2015, West Berkshire Council’s partner Gigaclear has laid more than 435 miles (700km) of broadband fibre cables across rural West Berkshire thanks to a £1.8 million investment from the government connecting both commercial and residential properties to its full-fibre gigabit capable network with coverage now at 98%.
Laura Jones, South Central General Manager at Gigaclear says:
We’re very pleased to have completed our build in West Berkshire. Gigaclear’s work with Superfast Berkshire reached the final stages in the summer of 2020, with only a hundred or so properties in outstanding wayleave areas to go.
It’s satisfying to know the job’s done, but really the most significant thing is knowing that people in West Berkshire can now access ultrafast broadband after years of dealing with painfully slow internet. The pandemic really underlined how important internet access is, especially in historically underserved areas of the UK.
Howard Woollaston, Executive Portfolio Holder for Internal Governance at West Berkshire Council, says:
This is a great achievement and we’re really proud that we have taken on and met a challenge that was not commercially viable to the private sector. I’m delighted that the majority of West Berkshire residents and businesses in rural areas are now receiving superfast broadband as part of this project.
This high level of connectivity has been a priority for us. 98% coverage is a great achievement and Superfast Berkshire has put our district into the very top tier of Ultra-fast Broadband behind only parts of London and Bournemouth.
I hope that with the Project Gigabit programme recently launched by Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the remaining 2% will have similar access.
On a personal level, as a Gigaclear customer, the rollout has transformed my family’s digital life.
Without it, with four of us working from home during lockdowns and with multiple screens, we would have been lost.