Tunnelling Under Steam Railway Keeps Broadband Roll-out on Track
Plans to give more than 2,500 homeowners access to full-fibre broadband in Lydney, in the Forest of Dean, is on track after specialist engineering works successfully drilled under an historic railway line in the town this week.
28 Sep 2022
The complex work, carried out by ultrafast broadband provider Gigaclear, involved sending a horizontal directional drill under the Dean Forest Steam Railway in Hill Street, outside the Fire Station. Fibre optic cables ‘blown’ through underground ducting will enable Gigaclear to extend its network across the town and to communities including Viney Hill, Newerne, Tutnalls and Blakeney Hill.
Gigaclear General Manager Jamie Flint said he had hoped to avoid going under the steam railway but said that having explored a variety of options to link both sides of the town, the track crossed every alternative route. He said: “We decided to cross the track in Hill Street as we felt it would cause least disruption to the community. This operation is critical in enabling us to take full fibre broadband to Lydney and the wider Forest of Dean. Not only does it connect the east and west sections of our build in the region but it also helps us establish a resilient network around the Forest of Dean as part of our network build works for our Fastershire funded projects.”
Mr Flint said that following consultation with the Dean Forest Steam Railway operators, Gigaclear agreed to drill the broadband cable deeper than required to ensure that if proposed work to the railway track went ahead in the new year, Gigaclear’s cabling wouldn’t be disturbed, thereby limiting any future disruption for customers.
He added: “Once we complete our work, this link will be critical to every community in the Forest for years to come.” Communities that will benefit from the work are both commercial builds and those that come under the Building Digital UK (BDUK) Fastershire initiative.
Gigaclear has frozen its full-fibre broadband rates for 18 months, meaning both new and existing customers will not see a rise in prices until October 2023 at the earliest. To find out more information, or to check if your property can connect to the network, please visit www.gigaclear.com and use the postcode checker.
Gigaclear designs, builds and operates a full fibre, ultrafast broadband network in rural areas across central and southern England. Established in 2010, our network now reaches homes and businesses in more than 650 communities across 22 counties – and growing. We are working hard to provide rural properties, farms and businesses with the UK’s best broadband speeds.
Gigaclear designs and builds its new networks to rural communities where there is a need for better broadband using commercial investment. In some communities we are working with Local Bodies to deliver this essential service with subsidy under the Building Digital UK (BDUK) scheme.
Gigaclear Ltd is principally owned by Infracapital, a leading European Infrastructure investor.