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Ultra-fast broadband

Critics reassured as Gigaclear face questions

FEBRUARY 2018: The public turned out in force for Clayhidon Parish Council’s meeting on 19 February – and everyone who wanted to speak had their say. Many were there to comment and ask questions about the laying of fibre-optic cable in the parish.

If the officials from Gigaclear, MGM Utilities, Devon County Council and Connecting Devon & Somerset had expected a hard time from the audience, it never happened. All signs of hostility melted away as people praised the work teams. Their most vocal critics had apparently already had their say about the damage to roads and verges and been listened to.

Maurice Bendle said: “We still have concerns about our roads, and it’s reassuring to know that you are going to keep an eye on things after you have finished.”

Richard Olive, of Gigaclear, quoted Alan Redwood as saying to him: “We have forced you to raise your game”. “It’s a fair point,” added Mr Olive.

Other points from the discussion:

·         Although Bolham valley is excluded from the cable network, an aerial on Richard Kallaway’s farm building is providing a 4G service to properties in that neighbourhood.

·         Once Clayhidon’s network has been linked to the Gigaclear cabinets at Ford Street and Churchinford, people will be able to connect their homes, starting in May, with all signed-up customers connected by September

·         Graham Long, a parish councillor from Upottery, said he had saved £100 by buying the kit and connecting it himself – a simple job.

·         In places where there was no verge – such as Rosemary Lane – the contractors will dig a trench and lay cable in the road.

·         Some properties excluded from the network could still be connected, but householders should contact Gigaclear urgently while the workforce is still in the area.

·         In the future, when new houses are built, they won’t automatically be connected,

>'We were shocked by methods used'