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Gigaclear is stepping up its competition with BT by spending £50 million on boosting fibre to the premises (FTTP) connectivity in rural areas.

According to Matthew Hare, Chief Executive of Gigaclear, BT's copper network is "ageing" and unsuitable for people in rural communities.

Indeed, he told the Telegraph that copper is "particularly bad in the countryside" as "homes tend to be further away from the equipment".

Openreach, which is controlled by BT, is aiming to supply ten million premises with high-speed internet connections by 2020.

By contrast, Gigaclear currently supplies a fraction of this number, with 20,000 homes in rural parts of Gloucester, Berkshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire and Essex having access to its fibre network.

However, Gigaclear is the only organisation apart from BT to have received funding for a rural broadband rollout from the government-backed BDUK.

A £20 million loan from the European Investment Bank is also being used to fund the rollout, along with the backing of investors Neil Woodford and Infracapital.

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