On Friday 24 March, following his appearance at the Public Accounts Committee in Parliament, the Building Digital UK (BDUK) Chief Executive Paul Norris, was invited by Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP along with other officials from Gloucester County Council to discuss the roll-out of Project Gigabit in Gloucester. The visit was to local facilities and businesses that have benefitted from upgrades to broadband infrastructure in recent years.
The Project Gigabit procurement covering the Cotswolds constituency is expected to launch by June this year, with a contract expected to be awarded by March 2024. Maps of the Cotswolds were produced which showed a large number of locations, mostly single houses and hamlets that will require a Government subsidy to supplement the commercial roll-out.
The first site visit was to Rendcomb College, a co-educational day and boarding school for boys and girls aged from 3 to 18 located within the Cotswolds. Rendcomb College educates approximately 400 boys and girls across their Nursery, Junior and Senior Schools.
The visit focused on Rendcomb College’s Performing Arts Centre, which received a gigabit-capable connection via the Superfast Programme with the supplier Gigaclear in 2017.
The group were delighted to see the benefits that the upgrades in digital connectivity have had on the learning experience for staff and students.
Then the group visited the Inverter Drive Supermarket, an Industrial Automation Distributor specialising in online sales worldwide. Products include AC Variable Speed Drivers, Controllers, Motors and components
The business exports products across the globe, with customers in more than 150 countries. It also offers next-day delivery for most countries in continental Europe. More than 8,000 products are listed on the website.
The Inverter Drive Supermarket received a gigabit-capable connection in 2020 as part of the Superfast Programme with the supplier Gigaclear.
Commenting on the visit, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP said:
“High-speed broadband has become like the fourth utility, for households and businesses. I am delighted that the Government's gigabit project is yielding real results which I have campaigned on for many years. It was good to be joined by Paul and other officials on Friday to see how this project is benefiting the Cotswolds.”