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Irish Fibre Optic Broadband ISP Magnet Networks to Launch UK 100Mb Service

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012 (8:03 am) - Score 1,882

Dublin-based ISP Magnet Networks, which operates a superfast broadband service in Ireland using Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) technology, has entered the UK market by acquiring a 90% stake in internet provider Velocity 1 and signing a new TV distribution deal with Sky. The first rollout will begin in Wembley City and Greenwich Penninsula (London).

Regular readers might recall that Velocity 1, which until today was 100% owned by Quintain Estates and Development (they still retain 10%), was also one of the ISPs that helped to distribute a similar FTTH based triple-play service (broadband, phone and TV) in Bournemouth using the CityFibre Holdings (formerly i3 Group UK) local FTTH network.

Mark Kellett, CEO of Magnet Networks, said (Silicon Republic):

We have major plans to deploy fibre services to the home in the UK at a rate of approximately 30,000 homes per annum – that’s direct fibre to the home. This will make us the only player in the UK providing Sky over fibre.

It is our intent to invest in and grow the UK business over the next 10 years given the favourable regulatory and competitive environment, as well as the strong opportunities in the new build market in the UK. As an example of this we are already in advanced negotiations to launch services into other geographic areas of the UK outside of London.”

Precise details of the rollout are not known, although it’s understood that Magnet Networks are also in discussions with an unnamed dark fibre developer that could one day help their service to reach 1 million UK homes. This sounds almost identical to CityFibre Holdings £500 million plan to rollout an open access fibre network to 50,000 businesses and 1 million homes.

Naturally the first locations in Wembley and Greenwich Penninsulato be covered will be those that Quintain Estates are helping to regenerate. This makes sense as it’s a lot more economical to put fibre optic cable in the ground when you’re already re-building the area. The UK service will replicate what they already offer in Ireland, which actually tells us quite a lot about what consumers over here can expect to receive.

For example, Ireland’s FTTH service costs from around £47 a month for 30Mbps download speeds (5Mbps upload) with unlimited usage, free Off-Peak calls (phone service is included in the price), free WiFi and 56 TV channels. Prices go all the way up to £70 for a 100Mbps (10Mbps upload) service with Anytime calls, more TV channels, set-top-box and other features.

It’s worth pointing out that Magnet Networks is a subsidiary of private equity investment company Columbia Ventures Corporation (CVC).

Leave a Comment
1 Response
  1. Avatar Onephat says:

    So once again there will be more choice for those living in major cities and towns

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