Gigaclear snaps up assets of Aylesbury Vale Broadband
Gigaclear has purchased the assets of troubled rural broadband provider Aylesbury Vale Broadband Ltd (AVB). The sale was agreed by the majority shareholder Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) at a meeting of its General Purposes Committee on 20 November 2017.
Created in 2015, AVB was set up as a commercial venture by AVDC and Aylesbury Vale resident Andrew Mills. The council provided funding for the initial build via a commercial loan as part of a wider investment in the local broadband infrastructure. The network has enabled almost 300 properties to access speeds of up to 1Gb/s. The venture has, however, encountered difficulties, with the resignation of Mr Mills in November, and the project becoming subject to an independent audit by the council.
This acquisition will allow Gigaclear to serve the seven UK villages connected through AVB, whilst expanding the ultrafast fibre to the premises (FTTP) network across Aylesbury Vale. The rural broadband provider is already drawing up plans to make improvements to the existing infrastructure to ensure current customers receive an ever-improving service. It is also planning further commercial investment to connect additional homes in the surrounding area, whilst continuing its commitment towards Britain’s digital future with ‘full fibre’ networks - a cause that it's passionate about (see What's in a name? Fibre ads ruling could harm investment).
Of the sale, Brett Shepherd, chief operating officer of Gigaclear commented: ‘We’re delighted to take over the infrastructure that AVB has laid to enable the local Aylesbury Vale residents to access future-proofed technology. Our intention is to make this process as seamless as possible for existing customers, as well as expand our offering so more of the local community can connect to our network quickly and experience the very best broadband technology.’
AVB board member and AVDC councillor, Janet Blake stated: ‘We are extremely proud of everything AVB has achieved. When we started the company with local resident Andrew Mills, our primary aim was to bring high speed broadband to rural parts of Aylesbury Vale that, otherwise, had little likelihood of being connected. We now have one of the most advanced broadband infrastructures of any rural district in the UK. Having stimulated the market, the time is right to pass the reigns on to a company with the resources to grow the network and benefit many more residents and businesses. Like us, Gigaclear wants to provide a great service and we’re confident they will build on the great foundations that we’ve laid.’
The AVB service will close on 31 January 2018 and existing customers are invited to migrate across to the Gigaclear network.