Bristol’s historic bridge pressed into service for rural broadband

Rural full-fibre broadband provider Gigaclear has acquired permission to run cables beneath the deck of the historic Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, to convey ultrafast broadband companies to rural communities in north Somerset for the primary time.

Because of the distinctive geography of the realm, the 154-year-old Clifton Suspension Bridge is the one current crossing level over the Avon Gorge to the west of town.

This signifies that whereas Bristol has developed into one of many UK’s better-connected city areas, the extra remoted communities on the west aspect of the gorge are nonetheless making do with antiquated copper networks, receiving speeds of below 1Mbps, regardless of being a couple of minutes’ drive from town centre.

The Clifton venture is being performed below the auspices of the broader Connecting Devon and Somerset Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) venture – by means of which Gigaclear holds a contract to deal with the wants of round 53,00zero houses and companies throughout each counties.

By operating fibre cables throughout the bridge, it hopes to not solely handle the wants of locals in close by villages, akin to Abbots Leigh, however to assist it roll out its fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) community footprint extra broadly into north Somerset.

“Not since 1935 has another utilities provider crossed the bridge directly, and we’re delighted to be helping Gigaclear bring this life-changing service to locals,” stated Chris Booy, chairman of the Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust.

“By taking the direct route, there will be no disruption and is a win-win for everybody in the community. It’s amazing to see this monument of British engineering being utilised as a catalyst for modern infrastructure.”

By operating the cables beneath the deck of the bridge itself, Gigaclear stated in addition to avoiding highway closures on a vital route, the brand new cables would each be shielded from the climate and fewer susceptible to wreck, serving to it assure a extra resilient broadband service.

“Over 150 years in the past, Clifton Suspension Bridge was a pioneering growth, linking communities collectively utilizing what was revolutionary expertise for the time. Today, Gigaclear is utilizing the perfect expertise the 21st century can supply to maneuver forgotten communities into the trendy age,” stated Gigaclear chief govt Matthew Hare.

“Our focus is to ensure that rural communities have access to the latest and very best quality broadband technology. This investment into the broadband infrastructure in Bristol and Somerset will ultimately help to drive the area’s digital economy, providing future-proof connectivity.”

Elfan Ap Rees, North Somerset Council deputy chief, added: “We are keen to see our rural communities in North Somerset receiving better high speed broadband connections, especially for those who work from home. Anything that brings that objective closer is welcome.”

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Publish Date: 2018-05-01 06:45:00

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