Local Authority View #3
Jan 23 2019
January 2019 #3Read More
A team at Bevan Brittan led by Richard Hiscoke, has advised on the sale of the business of Buckinghamshire's rural broadband provider, Aylesbury Vale Broadband (AVB), to Gigaclear, the leading provider of full fibre broadband in rural locations. The deal will enable Gigaclear to serve the seven villages connected through AVB, as well as expand its existing ultrafast fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network further across Aylesbury Vale.
The development of the network, which was initiated by AVB in 2015 due to a lack of action in the area from the major broadband providers, has enabled almost 300 properties to access speeds of up to 1Gbps (1,000Mbps). Before this date, locals had experienced very limited and unreliable internet connections with speeds as low as 1Mbps, which left them in a digital black hole that hampered individuals, schools and local businesses.
Richard Hiscoke, corporate lawyer at Bevan Brittan, said:
"AVB has been committed to delivering ultra-fast broadband to residents in Aylesbury Vale and the sale to Gigaclear will ensure that substantial investment is made in expanding the network and improving broadband services for residents of the vale. It is a pleasure to have worked with Tracey, Janet and the AVB team on the evolution of the business via its disposal to Gigaclear.”
Teresa Lane, Director of AVB, said:
“The sale of the assets of AVB was not the long term plan but circumstances meant that it was the right decision for our existing customers and other people hoping to be connected. We needed to move quickly to capture the opportunity but were mindful of the need to have expert legal help and guidance as we were working on unfamiliar territory. We were pleased with the support given by the Bevan Brittan team and their understanding of the issues important to AVB in the sale process.”
Janet Blake, AVB director and Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) councillor said: “We are extremely proud of everything AVB has achieved. We now have one of the most advanced broadband infrastructures of any rural district in the UK. Having stimulated the market, the time is right to pass the reins on to a company with the resources to grow the network and benefit many more residents and businesses. Like us, Gigaclear wants to provide a great service and we’re confident they will build on the great foundations that we’ve laid.”
Gigaclear, which focuses on providing full fibre broadband to often forgotten about rural communities, is already drawing up plans to make improvements to the current infrastructure to ensure current customers receive an ever improving service. It also has further commercial investment planned to connect additional homes in the surrounding area.