THOUSANDS of homes can now get ultrafast broadband after the latest roll-out of services in West Berkshire.

Gigaclear, the ultrafast rural broadband provider, completed the final phase as part of the 'Superfast Berkshire Project'.

More than 14,000 homes and businesses across the county now have access to Gigaclear’s ultrafast network, reportedly providing residents with some of the fastest broadband speeds in the world.

In partnership with Superfast Berkshire, Gigaclear has been building its full fibre to the property (FTTP) network in West Berkshire since 2015.

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In that time, more than 700km (435 miles) of fibre have been laid across rural West Berkshire, to connect properties that have been historically overlooked and underserved by other network providers.

Laura Jones, South Central General Manager at Gigaclear, said: “With any large-scale engineering project in a rural area, you are bound to encounter challenges but West Berkshire has had more than its fair share, hence why other network providers have overlooked it.

“On all our connection projects, we work closely with landowners to gain permission to operate on their land, and we always make sure we do so at times that suit them.

"With Superfast Berkshire we have also been faced with unique obstacles including crossing the major network rail bridges and the extremely fast and busy M4 motorway.

"That’s why we invested heavily into this project, with further funding being provided by Building Digital UK (BDUK) and Superfast Berkshire."

She added: "The new network means it will take Gigaclear customers in West Berkshire less than one minute to download a 2.5 hour-long HD film - faster than microwaving the popcorn.”

Howard Woollaston, Executive Portfolio Holder for Internal Governance at West Berkshire Council, added: “We are delighted that the majority of West Berkshire residents and businesses in rural areas are now receiving superfast broadband as part of this project.

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"There have been challenges along the way, but this hasn’t stopped us wanting to deliver on this priority.

“This project will make Berkshire one of the best served counties for superfast broadband across the UK. This has put West Berkshire near the top of the league table in terms of Superfast coverage with levels of 96.2 per cent.

“Whilst the majority of West Berkshire is complete, there remains a small number of premises to receive superfast broadband which will be delivered over the next couple of months.

“Our goal is to ensure we have a 98 per cent coverage rate for superfast broadband across West Berkshire however we will continue to work towards 100 per cent.”

The Superfast Berkshire Programme with continue in East Berkshire to increase coverage to similar levels as West Berkshire.