Fast and affordable broadband is something we all need, especially with so much of our working and social lives played out online. But for people in more rural areas, getting a quick and reliable broadband connection can be difficult due to their remote location. In fact, Government figures from 2020 show there is a real urban-rural divide. The average broadband speed in rural areas was 54 Mbits compared to 81Mbits in predominantly urban areas . This is attributed to two main reasons, firstly, that there is limited superfast broadband infrastructure in rural areas and, secondly, that rural premises are much further away from cabinets and rely on long copper wires which reduce performance.
That is where Gigaclear comes in. This broadband provider, owned by European infrastructure investor Infracapital, is different for two reasons. It focuses its attention on rural communities, promising to bring its broadband to areas which may otherwise be overlooked. It also offers a full fibre broadband service. Gigaclear launched in 2010 and since then has been working to 'unlock the potential' of poorly served rural communities by 'taking fast and reliable broadband to their doorsteps'. In 2021, the Government unveiled plans to invest £5 billion into providing faster broadband for 'hard to reach' homes and businesses  in a bid to help ease the rural-urban divide.
Gigaclear prides itself on offering the UK's largest, exclusively rural, fibre to the premises (FTTP) network. FTTP is fibre broadband wired directly to the home instead of via a cabinet that serves multiple properties in an area. This eliminates the problems that often blight rural communities and helps to improve their access to faster broadband.
How many customers use Gigaclear broadband?
More than 300,000 rural homes and businesses are capable of using Gigaclear's services and its network stretches across more than 22 areas in the South West, the Midlands and the South East. Its first ever network was built in Appleton, Oxfordshire. Areas in which Gigaclear is most active include Devon, Somerset, West Oxfordshire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.
What speeds does Gigaclear offer?
Gigaclear offers three home broadband packages- superfast, ultrafast or hyperfast. Superfast broadband offers average download and upload speeds of 200 Mbps and the package includes a Linksys router and is Smart Wi-Fi ready. The ultrafast package offers download and upload speeds of 600 Mbps and is recommended for heavy duty users, while the hyperfast package offers upload and download speeds of 830 Mbps - some 16x faster than standard fibre.
How much is Gigaclear broadband?
Gigaclear broadband prices may be considered a little higher than other network providers, perhaps because of the logistics involved in providing FTTP internet to rural properties. The Superfast package is around £40 per month, while the ultrafast package is around £59 per month. The hyperfast package will set you back £79 per month. All packages include a Linksys Router and Smart Wi-Fi, with no installation fees or activation fees.
Are there any Gigaclear broadband deals for businesses?
Gigaclear also offers a selection of full fibre business broadband deals, also for those located in predominantly rural areas. Businesses can benefit from speeds of up to 900 Mbps, symmetrical upload and download speeds and a business grade service level agreement, providing service in the event of interruption.
Gigaclear's Business 100 broadband package is ideal for smaller businesses and offers average download and upload speeds of 100 Mbps, as well as unlimited usage, a two day Service Level Agreement (SLA) and a Linksys router. The Business 500 package offers speeds of up to 500 Mbps and is suited to medium sized businesses, while the fastest package available is the Business 900, ideal for medium to large heavy data users. This has download speeds of up to 900 Mbps and you benefit from a named account manager.
All of the business packages include a Linksys router, a static IP, a two day SLA and promises of no mid term price rises. Prices are not available on Gigaclear's website, and anyone interested can speak to a local business specialist on 0370 863 7613 to find out more.
How do I know if Gigaclear is available in my area?
Gigaclear's website features a postcode checker so you can find out if you can get Gigaclear's broadband connection where you live. The company is working on rolling out new networks. It takes around six to nine months to roll out a typical ultrafast full fibre broadband network to a rural community of 200 to 400 properties. Once a new network has been completed in an area, residents will be contacted to inform them that Gigaclear is now available there. Timeframes for installation vary according to whether permits are needed or if there are third party network access agreements in place.
Is switching to Gigaclear difficult?
If Gigaclear is available in your area and you want to try it out, you need to choose your installation package, select an installation date (this can be done online) and engineers will visit your home to install the connection and set up Wi-Fi. Those who have less than three months remaining on a contract with another provider can order with Gigaclear and delay their installation date until nearer the end of their current contract.
How is Gigaclear installed?
Engineers visit your home to talk you through the process. Connection involves running a cable into your property through a hole, the location of which will be agreed with the property owner first. A wall socket or an internet fibre converter will also need to be installed on the wall and a router set up. The cost of installation is usually included in the packages, although if the installation requires overly complex work, then it may mean additional costs.
How do Gigaclear customers feel about their service?
Overall, Gigaclear broadband reviews from customers are generally positive, with 3.8 out of five stars on Trustpilot, placing it in the 'great' provider category. Of the 7,149 customer reviews on Trustpilot, 50 % are five star reviews.
Is it easy to contact Gigaclear if I have a problem with the service?
Gigaclear provides email links on its website for its customer operations, sales and billing teams. All of the teams can also be reached by calling 01865 591 131. There is also a Gigaclear broadband speed test available on their website. Simply click on the 'go' button and when the test has finished, it will display what your download and upload speeds are to help identify if there is a problem. Instructions on how to carry out the speed test are given online.
How do I find the best broadband deal for me?
With 92% of UK adults using the internet regularly , having a fast and reliable broadband connection, which is also affordable, is more important than ever before. It is always prudent to use a comparison site to check if you are getting the best deal for you. At Free Price Compare, simply enter your postcode and email address to find the best broadband and landline details available for you. In a matter of moments, Free Price Compare can sort through offers from hundreds of packages and providers to find the best ones for you.