Thousands of people across rural parts of Oxfordshire are set to get new lightning-fast broadband.

Backed by £26.5 million from this funding pot, around 10,000 homes and businesses in rural Oxfordshire communities are set to benefit from fast and reliable broadband connections.

With gigabit-capable broadband, it is intended that households should no longer struggle with limited bandwidth and businesses will in turn be able to improve their productivity without disruptions associated with ageing copper networks.

The work is due to get underway early in 2024, and be complete in 2025.

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The investment forms part of the government’s £5 billion Project Gigabit, which aims to ensure people have the same access to high-speed broadband wherever they live, work and study.

Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure, Sir John Whittingdale, said: “The ambition is to get gigabit broadband everywhere. We’re looking at alternatives for the most difficult and remote homes as it’s not practical that we’ll manage to get fibre there.

“Work is set to start early next year. Having a fibre cable to every home requires installation but the benefits to people are enormous.

“There may be a period of disruption whilst installation takes place but the long-term benefits are considerable, however it’s down to the company to work out the best way to reach homes. Installation should be finished no later than 2025.

“By facilitating the fastest connections, we are not just reaping the benefits now but positioning the UK for a future where our broadband infrastructure remains resilient for decades to come.”

Rural full fibre provider Gigaclear will roll out high-speed connectivity to premises across North and South Oxfordshire in a bid to transform broadband speeds and reliability for local residents.

As part of the investment, Gigaclear has committed to providing skills workshops and apprenticeships for local residents to help them kick-start a career in the telecoms industry.

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To date, Gigaclear has connected 25 vital public service buildings including schools, health centres, libraries and fire stations to gigabit-capable networks as part of the government's Project Gigabit GigaHubs programme.

Project Gigabit is the government’s flagship £5 billion programme to enable hard-to-reach communities to access lightning-fast gigabit-capable broadband.

Oxfordshire County Council Leader, Councillor Liz Leffman said: “We are delighted that local firm Gigaclear has been awarded the Project Gigabit contract for delivery of full fibre broadband to thousands of Oxfordshire homes and businesses.  

“This public sector investment in digital infrastructure is critical to levelling up areas where commercial funding alone is insufficient to secure the money necessary to make this build happen.”