Saturday, 30 May 2020

UK altnets boosted their fibre coverage by 50% in 2019

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Thursday 09 April 20

New research from Point Topic and the Independent Networks Cooperative Association (INCA) show that these alternative ISPs are planning to hit nearly 16 million premises by 2025

A new report from INCA and Point Topic suggest that alternative network providers are accelerating their full fibre deployment plans, increasing their coverage by 50% in 2019.    The altnets, including B4RN, Cityfibre, Gigaclear and Hyperoptic, have reached a combined total of 1,223,168 premises, with the intention to reach nearly 16 million by 2025…

A new report from INCA and Point Topic suggest that alternative network providers are accelerating their full fibre deployment plans, increasing their coverage by 50% in 2019. 
 
The altnets, including B4RN, Cityfibre, Gigaclear and Hyperoptic, have reached a combined total of 1,223,168 premises, with the intention to reach nearly 16 million by 2025. 
 
Ofcom recently released their own figures for ultrafast full fibre networks, suggesting 3 million premises had been reached by the end of 2019; however, these numbers included mainstream operators like Openreach and Virgin Media alongside the altnets. 
 
If these figures are to be believed, that would suggest that around one third of the premises to receive full fibre have had it provided by the altnets – an impressive feat and one that is surely driving operators like Openreach to accelerate their own deployments.
 
Part of this rapid increase of coverage by the altnets comes as a result of heightened investment, both from the private and public sector. The INCA report estimates that the altnets have already announced around £936 in private investment since the start of 2019, with overall private investment in the sector reaching a total of £6.6 billion.
 
Naturally, this goes hand in hand with the £5 billion the government has committed to providing ultrafast fibre broadband for the last 20% of premises in the UK.
 
“The substantial increase from last year is very promising. These impressive results are reflected in the scale of investment in the UK’s digital infrastructure. We calculate that a commitment of £6.6bn has been announced for the independent operators. Coronavirus has demonstrated clearly the reliance we all have on connectivity,” said Malcolm Corbett, CEO of INCA.
 
There is funding aplenty for the altnets, and if the altnets continue to rise, applying more and more pressure to traditional operators, increased conflict is inevitable. One possible solution would be future mergers, but right now the altnets seem to be doing just fine on their own.
 
 
What are the UK operators doing to support their customers in these difficult times? Check out our live list of the latest operator updates
 
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