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IFNL Says All New UK Homes Need a Pure Fibre Optic Broadband Service

Monday, November 30th, 2015 (1:21 am) - Score 3,183
new build uk homes gtc infrastructure

The Wholesale Manager of Independent Fibre Networks Ltd. (IFNL), Graeme Scott, has told ISPreview.co.uk as part of our latest interview that “all new homes” should benefit from a “21st Century fibre solution and not a 19th Century copper connection” as is currently installed in most UK homes.

Many of our readers probably won’t have heard about IFNL, which is part of the Brookfield Utilities UK Group (BUUK) that also includes GTC. The company specialises in delivering “last mile utility networks“, such as Gigabit capable pure fibre optic connectivity, but most of those are installed at new build developments rather than as part of a wider general roll-out.

After that IFNL’s related services are usually ordered by consumers through their more familiar wholesale partner ISPs, such as Direct Save Telecom’s niche 300Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband packages or the similar options from Seethelight. The utility provider has also done some work with Sky (Sky Broadband).

Put another way, IFNL offer wholesale access to their new build housing sites using a FTTH/P solution with customer connections back-hauled to Service Provider hand-over points located in carrier neutral data centres in Docklands, London and Slough. Voice, Data and all other services (IPTV, security alarms, CCTV, building management systems, smart metering and Public Realm WiFi etc.) are delivered over the IFNL Fibre only infrastructure. The operator offers a range of services, both passive and active.

Suffice to say that IFNL’s network is now serving many thousands of new homes and they’re in a strong position to meet Europe’s new guidelines, which require that “All new buildings – and those undergoing major renovation – for which applications for building permission have been submitted after 31 December 2016 must be high-speed [broadband] ready” (here).

Naturally IFNL’s position in the market also gives them a unique perspective and as such we wanted to get their opinions on the current market.

The Interview

1. The UK isn’t home to that many ultrafast Fibre-to-the-Home/Premises (FTTH/P) broadband providers. What in your view is the reason for this and what needs to happen in order for the market to grow at a faster pace than today?

IFNL Response:

IFNL believes that all new homes should benefit from a 21st Century fibre solution and not a 19th Century copper connection as is currently installed in most of the UK’s homes. IFNL only delivers new fibre infrastructure, and specifically Fibre to the Home (FTTH) delivered directly into the residents properties on new housing developments across the UK.

Much of the UK’s telecommunications infrastructure was built before fibre technology was enabled, and the incumbent network owners have either not chosen, or maybe have not been given the sufficient incentives to replace entirely those legacy networks, instead preferring to try to increase the speeds achievable over copper networks and by laying fibre to street cabinets, but not in to the home.

The IFNL solution is compliant with Ofcom’s guidelines for new build networks and provides next generation access that meets the criteria set out in the EEC 2020 Digital Agenda, where each citizen should have access to a 30Mbps service and at least 50% of citizens should be subscribed to a 100Mbps service. Customers on IFNLs networks have immediate access to 300Mbs services with symmetrical upload speeds if required and the network can be scaled to deliver almost limitless speeds in the future as households and businesses demands for bandwidth increase.

The market could be changed drastically if there was a requirement for all new homes and businesses to be connected to fibre and not copper. The lack of fibre connected properties brings the issue of lack of critical mass and the fact that service providers are reluctant to engage with fibre infrastructure providers due to the relatively small numbers of potential customers, when compared to those served by competing technologies such as FTTC.

2. How many premises does your FTTH/P network reach and in what areas do you typically focus and why?

IFNL Response:

IFNL owns and operates fibre networks all over mainland UK. Most new housing developments (except for the very smallest) can take advantage of GTC’s market leading technology and request we install fibre to the home. There are no geographical restrictions. Networks vary from small sites with a few tens of connections to large sites with many thousands of homes connected.

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

    “Well he would say that, wouldn’t he?”

    • FibreFred

      And in other news, Apple CEO Tim Cook says everyone should buy iPhones 😉

      I agree with his point though, but its not difficult the developer just needs to request it from IFNL or a.n.other

  2. AndyC

    I would say that in this day and age ALL new build propertys should be “fibre ready” in that at the very least the trunking for the fibre strand is in place and ready to be used, in fact surely it wouldnt be hard to fibre up all the houses to a central point at or near the edge/entrance to the development that could be used to connect all houses on the development to the network in one go this alone would save time and a hell of a lot of money when rolling out FTTP at a later date.

  3. themanstan

    Update planning regs and take the choice away from developers, but also make it a co-responsibility of the chosen CP and developer to make it work via a substantial bond penalty on future developments.

  4. J. Bearman

    Ifnl absolute jokers. Mailed and rang numerous times as have had no reception on tv for 18 days. No one has ever responded. Have never come across such a company of clowns.

    • GadgetFan

      Not seeing what you’re getting at here? IFNL are not your TV service provider, so why would they respond to a contact about your TV service going down?

  5. Building Regulations or developer 106, either way every residential or commercial development should have a universal standard fit of FTTP installed. A private or community owned carrier independent infrastructure. Leaving investment to commercial market forces is not working. Currently no ISP investment model exists for BT to deploy FTTC to businesses in the UK. When you look at the average business park,leased line and existing broadband revenues far exceed FTTC revenues. Wireless technology is moving very quickly and offers real hope to disrupt copper and fibre business models that are stifling UK broadband development.

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