Meeting the competition
Updated: Oct 28, 2020
As many of you may have already read in my post from yesterday, a new kid is on the block. They are called Gigaloch.
I met with two of the team in the Goshawk last night (social distancing of course) to find out a little bit more about them and what they can potentially do for our communities.
Paul Walker (Optilec fibre specialist), who has lived locally and has family in the area & Steve Brown (In charge of operations) who also lives locally.
Gigaloch have already established themselves in Scotland, and are currently underway providing fibre to the property for some the remotest of homes.
They manage this by what is called slit trenching (Example left). A small slit is made into the ground and the fibre is run thought it. This is for the harder to reach places, what makes Gigaloch more enviromentally friendly and with less disruption is their use of moleploughing through soft ground. Gigaloch have just invested in a moleplough arriving this week, that allows them to work with an even smaller footprint than that of traditional methods of ploughing. This method results in a faster laying time and minimal disruption to the ground and environment.
Gigaloch's roll out plan for our area would utilise the fields that surround us causing less distruption to highways and needed to wait on the highways agency to grant road closures etc. The fields would house the fibre, from there spurs would branch off to connct each property. To reach the property a slit trench is dug into the rear garden and a connection is made. No more worrying about digging up drives. If your property does not back onto a field, not a problem Gigaloch go under the road.
Here is a quick reminder of what Gigaloch are offering:
1 gigabit per second high speed fibre internet
NO installation fees for fibre to the home
1 year FREE internet
NO cancellation fees
after 12 months, 1 low price of £35.00 per month
I am sure some of my readers will be thinking this sounds too good to be true and I have to admit that I too thought the same. How can any company offer a service for free and cheaply?
The answer from Steve is simple, Broadband packages are extreamly over priced. In fact, the cost of data is low, but the demand is high. Steve and Gigaloch believe that if they can offer a brilliant service & competatively priced, customers will stay longer term. Even with BT's best fibre package 'Infinity 250' offering 300Mbps Download and 47Mbps Upload, Gigaloch are cheaper and significantly faster*.
A number of local property owners have already signed wayleave agreements with Gigaloch who are also registered to the Openreach Fibre Partnership.
Gigaloch wish to begin the build end of November and tie it into the other local builds they have already begun.
The money for this build is already in place, it's just waiting on our community.
I have listed below a number of pro's and con's that I can see, perhaps you can think of more?
Full Fibre to the property
Cheaper than BT and other rivals
1GB Download speeds
Quick to install
Your Rural Gigabit Voucher covers the entire cost
Gigaloch are already established in Scotland with build on-going in our area
Local people driving this build
The UK Government Gigabit Voucher team have already worked with Gigaloch
CCTV option for landowners who opt to have the cable running through their land - Security for paddocks, outbuildings etc
Free for the first year
Free internet for schools
New company to the market
Your broadband package is tied to Gigaloch (no other service providers offered)
Wayleaves - This might be a problem when landowners dont wish to participate
No phone option - You'll need to keep your current method of landline, but you are free to use VOIP services from other providers.
The question really to all my readers and those especially who have registered their interest with me on the Openreach Fibre Partnership is do we want to make the switch from Openreach to Gigaloch?
Openreach have stated that we have another 18 months to wait if we choose to go with their quote - Remember we dont know what our final cost is going to be yet.
Do we wait or do we go for it?
This is and always will be for the community and it is up to you all to decide on what we do. I know what I would like to do, but this is not about me.
Drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts and let see where we end up.
Below is a flyer which I hope explains a little bit more.
*Gigaloch offer speeds of 1Gbps download and 200Mbps upload, this is not a symetrical service