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GibFibreSpeed Bring 10Gbps FTTH Broadband to 60-70 Percent of Gibraltar

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 (7:04 am) - Score 2,006

Some 60-70% of Gibraltar, which is a British overseas territory that sits on the southern end of Spain’s Iberian Peninsula in the Mediterranean sea, is now within reach of an ultrafast Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH/B) broadband network thanks to local ISP GibFibreSpeed (A.J. Sheriff Electrical Ltd.).

We first touched on the ISP’s plan to transform Gibraltar’s local connectivity all the way back in 2014 (here) and since then they’ve managed to expand their 10Gbps capable fibre optic network to cover 60-70% of the area, with take-up running at around 15-20% (GibFibreSpeed says that Gibraltar is home to a total of about 17,000 potential clients, both residential and business).

The progress is impressive and appears to be giving local rivals (e.g. Gibtelecom), which have generally preferred to deploy slower ADSL2+ and Fibre-to-the-Node (FTTN) based technologies (the latter is similar to FTTC [VDSL] in the UK), a run for their money.

Julian Sheriff, GibFibreSpeed, told ISPreview.co.uk:

“As the previous service was ADSL and FTTN before GibFibreSpeed came about, clients have noticed a huge upgrade in their internet speeds. We have also added to our offering Gibsat Fibre TV and IPTV services delivered via our fibre network using our home router.

Our future plans are to have all of GIbraltar FTTH ready and incorporate Broadband, TV and Telephone services. We are currently offering Broadband & TV (Gibsat – part of our group of companies, holds around 80% market share). We are encouraging the take up of Broadband & TV via GibFibreSpeed to get all our clients under one roof, the changeover will take time though.”

All of this is in stark contrast to the rest of the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), where ultrafast FTTH/P connections are still in the extreme minority. On the other hand Gibraltar is a very different place.

Most of the land on Gibraltar, which equates to approximately 6.84 square kilometres, is already well developed (like a mini city state) and shared between the military and civil interests. The percentage of undeveloped land is thus very small when you exclude the rocky cliffs and slopes, which means that it’s possible to reach a lot of premises (%) via a smaller investment.

Sadly GibFibreSpeed wouldn’t tell us precisely how much they’d invested to reach their current level of network coverage, although they did confirm that it has been “expensive!“. But then that’s usually true of practically all FTTH networks.

Otherwise the packages for home users generally start at £10 per month for a basic unlimited 10Mbps (2Mbps upload) connection, which doesn’t attract a separate line rental charge or an installation fee and adds a Fibre TV service. Meanwhile the top home package gives you 100Mbps (20Mbps upload) and a bunch of extras for just £35 per month, although we’re told that a 200Mbps [25Mbps upload] package also exists.

Elsewhere their business focused packages go up to 10Gbps (symmetrical), with more affordable options also available for home workers and small businesses.

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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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9 Responses
  1. David

    “sits on the southern end of Spain’s Iberian Peninsula” – Spain does not own the Iberian Peninsula (although she does like to think she does – having disputes with every country she borders). Not just Gibraltar but also Portugal will have something to say about that.

    “like a mini city state” – it is ‘mini-state’ or ‘city-state’. And what do you mean ‘like’. Gibraltar IS self governing.

    Also “the rest of the UK” should just be ‘the UK’ – as Gibraltar is NOT part of the UK.

    • David

      @Mark Jackson

      Not really. The points I raise are perfectly valid. The way it is written is wrong.

      When you have a neighbour who continually misrepresents and try to paint an untrue picture about you to the world then you rightly defend your position.

    • Cliff

      ” And what do you mean ‘like’. Gibraltar IS self governing…………………”

      “the rest of the UK” should just be ‘the UK’ – as Gibraltar is NOT part of the UK.”

      Gibraltar is an British Overseas Territory and while under the Gibraltar constitution of 2006, Gibraltar governs its own affairs, matters such as defence and foreign relations, remain the responsibility of the Government of the United Kingdom.

      The Iberian Peninsula also known as Iberia is located in the southwest corner of Europe and is divided among three states: Spain, Portugal, and Andorra; as well as Gibraltar, an overseas territory of the United Kingdom.

      The head of state for Gibraltar is Queen Elizabeth II.

      I can be a pedantic tool also.

    • David

      Cliff, I can assure you Gibraltar is NOT part of the United Kingdom, that is actually the position of Gibraltar, the UK and the UN.

    • David

      Cliff further to previous reply which was written quickly, I note you also state:
      “Gibraltar is an British Overseas Territory and while under the Gibraltar constitution of 2006, Gibraltar governs its own affairs, matters such as defence and foreign relations, remain the responsibility of the Government of the United Kingdom.”

      I’m afraid you are actually wrong on this bit too. There is no basis to say “Remain the responsibility of the Government of the United Kingdom”. And this certainly does not in any way suggest that Gibraltar is a part of the United Kingdom.

      They actually are the responsibility of HM Secretary of State for Defence / Foreign Affairs as appropriate – in their capacity as members of the privy council.

      This last bit is a key constitutional point, it is in their capacities as a members of the privy council, not as members of HM Gov of the UK. Both Gibraltar, the UK and various other territories share the same privy council.
      It is on this basis that it is firmly established legally that their obligations are to do this “for Gibraltar in the interests of Gibraltar”, not the interests of the UK.
      In practical discharge of this, as they ALSO have the same responsibility to do this for the UK defence and foreign affairs are handled on an integrated basis for all (and Gibraltar Regiment is integrated into HM Armed forces etc), – but it is very clear this authority arises from the privy council and nt from any sense of Gibraltar belonging to the UK nation state, or being a part of it. Occasionally where one or other requirement differs they are indeed discharged with differentiation.

      Various key legal cases concerning matters in various other British overseas territories have been settled on points such as this and the responsibility falling on members of the privy council as members of the council, not as members of UK gov. (Look at quark fishing case, etc).

      Before being pedantic Cliff, it is better if you know what you are actually talking about legally.

  2. Michael

    Fascinating read and wonderfully well written. Keep it up, appreciate your hard work!

  3. Stuart Cavilla

    Excellent service. I recently had it installed and works well. Customer service is fantastic too.

  4. calpense

    GibFibreSpeed’s marketing strategy needs a bit of work – I mentioned it to one prominent businessman in Gibraltar, and he told me he didn’t ‘know or understand’ what GibFibreSpeed was, and thought it was something offered by Gibtelecom, the former state monopoly. It’s not a good idea to have a similar name to your rival, especially when it’s such an established one.

    It has a rival in the form of U-Mee, from the same company behind Sapphire Networks, which mainly offers leased lines to the business community. In something reminiscent of the Judean People’s Front and the People’s Front of Judea in Monty Python’s Life of Brian, they spend more time trying to shut each other out of different housing estates than they do taking on Gibtelecom.

    U-Mee introduced telephone and TV services before GibFibreSpeed did, despite not launching until early last year. When Gibraltarians use the word ‘soon’ in English, they mean mañana without the urgency.

    As to the legalities, as Gibraltar is not part of the UK, or linked to it like the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, viewing of Sky, BBC and other UK channels, especially at £60 a year, is piracy and theft.

    By the way, their website’s down!

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