Okay, so I have stayed quiet about this for ages since I sold Cotswolds Broadband C.I.C. to Gigaclear plc. but since Gigaclear have now secured the contract to complete the work that I started in 2011, I can be sure that it is all going in the right direction and that full fibre will be available to every premise in West Oxfordshire that cannot access superfast speeds. A number of people have asked why I haven’t made a big noise about the solution that has been reached, but I wanted to be sure following cancellation of the contract that I originally brokered in 2015.
It was an ambition that came about as a result of the realisation that my part of the district wasn’t going to get first generation (ADSL) broadband in 2003. I became the community ‘broadband champion’ raising awareness and encouraging BT to think again about a community where many people worked from home and a significant number of small and micro business operated. BT didn’t waver so we created our own wireless network (called Oxfordshire Rural Broadband) with funding from the council and The Co-Op , who also housed the backhaul, ironically sourced from BT.
Spool forward eight years and the same thing looked likely for a wider part of the district, where the holes left in the superfast coverage were larger than the small pockets of superfast broadband availability, spawning the idea of Cotswolds Broadband working with the district council to infill all those remaining properties.
So finally, the contracts have been tendered and signed, work is underway with credible suppliers this time(!) and West Oxfordshire still may be the first district in the country to achieve full coverage of superfast broadband!