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Oxfordshire villages get 1,000Mbps broadband after govt snub

The place to go for super-fast broadband? Rural Oxfordshire, thanks to a company that specialises in getting rural areas online.

If your town or village has been left out of the fibre broadband rollout, then help could be at hand. Residents of Frilford (population 212, according to the 2001 census) and Frilford Heath in Oxfordshire were snubbed, so teamed up with infrastructure specialist Gigaclear.

Gigaclear has begun installing fibre broadband in both communities, and residents should enjoy 1,000Mbps connectivity starting in April. That's right, 1,000Mbps. That's around 10 times as fast as the best offerings from other providers, and the same speed as the highly publicised Google Fiber experiment in Kansas. All in rural Oxfordshire.

Bruce Ballard, managing director of local business Paddock IT Solutions, said, "We use ADSL over copper at the moment but with so much upstream traffic it performs badly. We've also found our existing service provider's attitude to outages unacceptable. Until now, suitable alternatives have been either unavailable in the area or prohibitively expensive."

Locals will have to shell out £195 for the privilege. But it seems a small price to pay for world-quality broadband.

If you fancy getting your community involved with Gigaclear, it needs to comprise at least 400 properties, and 30 per cent of residents have to sign up.  

Frilford isn't the only rural area getting super-speed broadband. Recently, the BBC brought us news of Arkholme in Lancashire, where residents took matters into their own hands and installed their own 500Mbps network. Though they had help from B4RN, an organisation set up to help roll out broadband to the rural north. Residents of Arkholme even dug channels across fields and laid the fibre optic cables themselves.

Companies like BT estimate the cost of hooking up one rural home to be around £10,000, while B4RN reckons it can get that down to £1,000.

It just goes to show, if you've been snubbed by the main rollout, all is not lost. Do you live in a rural area? Have you been left wanting when it comes to broadband? Let me know in the comments, or on Facebook.