MORE than 30 rural communities are in discussions with a super-fast broadband provider offering to lay new networks for free.

Chipping Norton’s Gigaclear is to start work in a second county community to provide speeds of up to 1,000 megabytes (Mbps) per second.

The firm lays a fibre optic cable separate to phone networks at no cost to residents, as long as 30 per cent sign on for the service.

It is about to start work in Fyfield and Tubney in Vale of White Horse district after putting in the technology in nearby Appleton and Eaton.

Rural communities have been plagued by poor broadband speeds.

On Wednesday, the Oxford Mail reported that Oxfordshire County Council wants to invest £13m to boost speeds up to 24Mbps.

Steve Fraser, clerk at Fyfield and Tubney Parish Council, who got 50 residents to sign up, said: “Degradation of service is frustrating for everyone and can make it impossible for those wanting or needing to work in the area.”

Among the 33 communities in talks about the £37-a-month service – which has a minimum 12-month contract – are Frilford and Stanton Harcourt, the firm said.

Chief executive Matthew Hare said: “We are seeing growing demand.”