For everyone, 2020 brought lots of changes. Many of us found ourselves doing things online we’d always done in person. We bought groceries, went to school, did our work and met up with friends, all without leaving our homes.
This all needed a fast and reliable internet connection. Which is why we at Gigaloch have been working flat out to get rural communities connected to gigabit fibre internet.
The good news? We’ve got lots to show for it. As you may know, our first two networks are being built in Perthshire in Scotland and Cheshire in north-west England. In this blog we wanted to give you a quick update on what we’ve achieved so far, where we’re at now and what’s coming next.
Making waves in the Perthshire Highlands
Loch Tay is our spiritual home, and it’s been all go in this corner of the world. Most excitingly, we’ve got two cabinets (the streetside hubs that connect your home to our network) ready to go in Fearnan and Strathallan.
By the end of next week they’ll be live and piping internet into local homes and businesses. Once we flip the switch, we’ll have our first homes running on the 1Gbp/s Gigaloch connection⚡
Unlike many internet providers, all of our connections are fibre optic, including the one that links the cabinet to your home. This means that, when we say gigabit internet, you get gigabit internet.
Of course, cabinets are pretty useless without cables! We’ve laid more than 10 kilometres of our Highlands network spine and, over the next six weeks, we’ll have 20 kilometres more. This is just the very early phase of our big plan to bring Gigaloch right up Scotland’s north west coast.
And it’s not just our network that’s growing. We’ve taken on three new employees who will be working in the office, surveying the land and constructing the network. Welcome to the team, folks!
Helping rural communities thrive in Cheshire
Our first cabinet has been connected in Mollington 🥳🎉. Which means we’ll have customers in Cheshire using Gigaloch internet before the end of the month. By April, we hope to have 600 homes connected. Much like Perthshire, our cables are quite literally the roots of these connections. Working through lockdown (and some rough old weather!) we’ve laid fifteen kilometres of spine duct connecting 42 homes.
Ultimately, the reason we exist is to help rural communities thrive.
This has led to us taking an active role in local community life. At Christmas, we went a bit overboard with the presents (relatable, anyone?), but it was great to see the villages of Barrow, Ashton-Hayes, Mouldsworth and Manley enjoy the 10ft Gigatree and snow machine!
We are also offering to donate a screen to the community shop, and offering to work on the repairs of a scout hut that was damaged in the recent storms.
In particular we would like to sponsor the local football team and facilitate a volunteer-run computer club for older residents that helps them gain more independence and experience with digital technology. If you live in the local area and would like to get involved with these initiatives please let us know.
Our Cheshire team would like to give special thanks to Anthony Jones, the local Gigaloch Fibre Champion. He has been tirelessly campaigning to get fibre into his area for seven years and, without his enthusiasm and commitment, we would be nowhere near as close to connecting so many homes.
What’s next for Gigaloch?
It’s been a busy year for us, but it seems like all the hard work is starting to pay off. In both Cheshire and Perthshire, we’re tantalisingly close to hitting the switch on the first Gigaloch connections, and there are concrete plans to extend our network into new areas too. Gigabit Fibre For All isn’t just a pipedream — we’re making it a reality.
Whether you’re a resident of rural Cheshire or Perthshire or you live further afield, if your community is looking to get connected to our hyperfast 1Gbp/s fibre network, all the information you need can be found on our website.