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Rala Refuse to Name New UK Fibre Broadband Rollout Due to BT Fears

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013 (1:24 am) - Score 1,909
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Swedish fibre optic equipment supplier Rala claims to have been hired to design a “fibre focused network” in the Northern United Kingdom that will connect almost 1,000 properties to an ultrafast broadband service. But they won’t say where it is and perhaps with good reason.

Apparently Rala will employ its “strategic planning capabilities” to help the “community project” do things like estimate the financial costs for establishing a new fibre optic network. Unfortunately Rala and the projects leaders are both staying quite about the schemes name and precisely where it is.

Tobias Ahl, CEO of Rala, said:

We are really proud to be delivering this project which is an important step forward for us, the project as well as a good showcase for others in the UK. Over time we have developed the technology and skills to enable exceptional accuracy at the planning stage. For this project in the North of the UK, and potentially others, we can by far reduce risk of failure, due to incorrect financial planning

It is a sign of the conditions currently facing fibre projects in the UK that both we and the project managers are unwilling to disclose exact details for fear of disruption to the project by the incumbent.”

It’s a situation that we’ve seen repeated elsewhere around the country. A small ISP (altnet) agrees to build a faster broadband service in an isolated village or town, usually because BT has either refused to do so or would require too much money to do the work, only for the incumbent to suddenly do a U-turn and upgrade the area.

Admittedly that’s good news for the community because they can finally get a hopefully better service than before, although it’s bad news for the smaller ISP which would struggle to compete. Local projects such as B4RN, Gigaclear and a number of others have in the past all reported similar situations and concerns. Clearly the scheme above has decided that on this occasion it’s better to keep quiet until after the deployment.

Apparently funding for the project has already been identified and is coming from a number of different sources, which interestingly includes “the state and other schemes acting to benefit the population“. This is unlikely to include BDUK and the £20m RCBF grants are still in limbo, although it could also come directly from the local authority.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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