Telephone Interview–Gigaclear UK (Matthew Hare)

In response to the latest news that has happened with Gigaclear and Rutland Telecom in relation to the Hambleton fibre-to-the-premises rollout, I offered to organise an email exchange with a representative from this company about this broadband access network.

Matthew Hare replied to my email offering to do a short Skype-based telephone interview rather than an email interview. This allowed him and I to talk more freely about the Hambleton and Lyddington rollouts which I have been covering in .

Real interest in rural-broadband improvements

There are the usual naysayers who would doubt that country-village residents would not need real broadband, and I have heard these arguments through the planning and execution of Australia’s National Broadband Network.

But what Matthew had told me through this interview would prove them wrong. In the Lyddington VDSL-based fibre-to-the-cabinet rollout, a third of the village had become paying subscribers to this service at the time of publication. In the Hambleton fibre-to-the-premises rollout, two-thirds of that village had “pre-contracted” to that service. This means that they had signed agreements to have the service installed and commissioned on their premises and have paid deposits towards its provision.

Satisfying the business reality

Both towns have hospitality businesses, in the form of hotels, pubs and restaurants that need real broadband. For example, Matthew cited a large “country-house” hotel in Hambleton that appeals to business traffic and this hotel would be on a better footing with this market if they can provide Wi-Fi Internet service to their guests. Similarly, these businesses would benefit from improved innovative cloud-based software that would require a proper Internet connection.

As well, most of the households in these villages do some sort of income-generating work from their homes. This can be in the form of telecommuting to one’s employer or simply running a business from home.

The reality of a proper Internet service for business was demonstrated through the Skype call session with Matthew. Here, the Skype session died during the interview and when he came back on, he told me that the fault occurred at his end. He mentioned that he was working from home at another village that had the second-rate Internet service and affirmed the need for a proper broadband service that can handle the traffic and allow you to be competitive in business.

A commercial effort in a competitive market

Matthew also underlined the fact that this activity is a proper commercial venture rather than the philanthropic effort that besets most other rural-broadband efforts. He also highlighted that there were other rural-broadband improvements occurring around the UK, including the BT Openreach deployments. and this wasn’t the only one to think of.

But what I would see is that an Internet market that is operating under a government-assured pro-consumer pro-competition business mandate is a breeding ground for service improvement, especially when it comes to rural Internet service.


From what Matthew Hare had said to me through the Skype telephone interview, there is a real and probable reason why the countryside shouldn’t miss out on the broadband Internet that city dwellers take for granted.

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