Gigaclear undertake costly fibre install UNDER River Severn to reach rural customers

The upstart ISP embarks on ambitious plan to ensure rural customers have access to full fibre broadband!

a picture of a river bank

Friday, 18 October, 2019


ISP Gigaclear have undertaken costly cable-laying underneath the River Severn this Autumn. It’s the latest in a flurry of activity to show the commitment of ISPs to roll out Full Fibre quickly. The move is a part of the ‘Fastershire’ project, an initiative set up to increase connectivity and speeds for residents of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. The project will enable over 70,000 homes to have access to full fibre or gigabit broadband

Gigaclear are the first ISP to drill underneath the River Severn. Other providers have been reluctant to undertake the work due to canals close by, making it a difficult project. Gigaclear are a leading rural ultrafast broadband provider so were the obvious choice for the job really.


Because of the work residents in remote villages Framilode and Longney will be able to access FTTP connections. Overhead cables weren’t an option as large ships regularly use the canal. So the only real option for Gigaclear to connect Longney and Framilode was to drill under the River Severn.

The benefit of fibre means that this work, while costly, is a true investment in the future. Unlike copper, which is used in traditional broadband cabling, fibre will last ‘for centuries’, meaning little maintenance is required. Fibre can also support varying bandwidths, meaning it is “completely futureproof.”

A need for speed.

The Fastershire project said of the current state of residents internet: “Residents of Longney and Framilode currently suffer internet speeds of between 1Mbps and 3Mbps.” In terms of tangible effects, this would make even basic tasks like checking emails or browsing social media a nightmare!

Access to Gigaclear’s network will allow residents access to internet speeds of up to 1Gbps. Meaning that it will only take less than a minute to download an HD film! Fastershire also said “The upgrade will completely transform the online capabilities of residents and businesses in the area, making them among the best connected in Britain.”

This install is the latest in a series of rural installs as a part of the government’s plan to increase rural connectivity. For more inhospitable landscapes, ISPs are exploring creative install methods like this. Areas in Scotland are considering the use of radio signal boosting on wind farms! ISPs with experience in Scandinavia or Germany are even lending advice to firms.

Full-fibre for all!

With so much news like this it seems the government’s ambitious target for full fibre for every UK household isn’t so unrealistic. Boris Johnson previously stated that his predecessor, Theresa May’s government’s promise to deliver full-fibre broadband for all by 2033 was “laughably unambitious”. He then set the target for 2025.

If we want to unite our country and our society, we should commit now to delivering full fibre to every home in the land not in the mid-2030s – but in five years at the outside…Of course they will say it can’t be done… but it can.

- Boris Johnson

This 2025 pledge was backpedalled this week among other more (‘ahem’) pressing announcements in the Queen’s speech. However with the enthusiasm and increase of ISPs to complete rural installs perhaps fibre for all won’t be too far off!

Natalie Dunning author picture


Natalie Dunning is a freelance writer and Media Psychology researcher based in Manchester.