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JT Completes 70% of its Planned FTTH Broadband Upgrade on Jersey

Friday, January 13th, 2017 (9:59 am) - Score 1,241

The roll-out of a new Gigabit capable “ultrafast” Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH/P) broadband network on the English Channel Island of Jersey, which is being conducted by the state-owned ISP JT, has now completed 70% of its planned connections to the new network.

The original £41m+ Gigabit Isles project, which was part funded to the tune of £19 million by the States of Jersey via a freeze on dividend payments, aimed to deploy FTTH ultrafast broadband to around “42,000 homes in Jersey, as well as every business” (990km of new fibre optic cable) by the end of 2016. On top of that JT wants Jersey to become a “fibre island” by the end of 2018, completely replacing all copper lines with fibre optic.

Perhaps confusingly the operator has today reported that, “A little over 34,000 properties were listed to be connected when the first property was equipped with fibre in May 2012 – by the end of 2016, JT had swapped just over 24,000 homes’ and businesses’ broadband connections to the new high speed/capacity network. In the last four-and-a-half years, the actual number of broadband connections in Jersey has risen by about 10%, or 3,000, and so JT expects to have connected over 37,000 properties by final completion.”

JT states that the project was split into three phases: P1 = Installing the main computer system to sit at the heart of the new network; P2 = Running fibre-optic cabling within easy reach of every broadband customer in Jersey; and P3 = Connecting all of those customers directly to the new network. The first two phases are said to be 100% complete, with the third just reaching the 70% mark. Apparently JT’s engineering teams completed more than 8,000 connections last year.

Daragh McDermott, JT’s Director of Corporate Affairs, said:

“We are really proud of the Gigabit team for what they have achieved in 2016. It’s been our best year yet in terms of the number of properties connected to fibre, and sets us up really well for 2017.

We fully appreciate that there are Islanders waiting for their fibre connection, and we would like to reassure them that we are progressing as quickly as we can. If anyone wants to find out when they will be connected, we would ask them to check our website, where estimated connection dates are published.

In effect, we are replacing the Island’s entire broadband network, and are planning to do it more quickly than has been done anywhere else in the world – such a large and complex civil infrastructure project takes time, but once it is done, it will serve the Island well for decades to come.

This network has put Jersey ahead of nearly every other jurisdiction in the world, most of whom are now trying to work out how they can catch-up. We’re looking forward to the forthcoming States’ Digital Policy Framework, which will help the Island to realise the full potential of having fibre-optic cabling going all the way to homes/offices of all broadband customers.”

As a result of all this JT claims that their new network has enabled the Island to leap into 3rd place in the world in terms of the percentage of broadband customers directly connected to the Internet with pure fibre optic cabling. Mind you Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man are part of the British Isles and residents have British passports, but Jersey is self-governing (British Crown Dependency) and has it own financial and legal systems and its own courts of law.

However one of JT’s problems is that customers might struggle to take full advantage of the new network. Subscribers typically pay from £22.99 per month for a 50Mbps (1Mbps upload) package with 20GB of usage, which rises to £29.99 for 50Mbps (1Mbps upload) with 100GB, £44.99 for 100Mbps (20Mbps upload) with 150GB and £59.99 for 1Gbps (100Mbps upload) with 300GB on a 12 month contract.

Admittedly you don’t have to pay line rental, but the lack of an “unlimited” usage plan is a significant restriction for such a network and on top of that a 40:1 Contention ratio (the maximum number of account holders sharing a line) applies to all JT Fibre Broadband services.

NOTE: From the 29th January 2017 the 50Mb fibre plans will no longer be available. The entry level fibre speed will be 100Mb download with 10Mb upload starting at £24.99 with 20GB of usage per month. The £29.99 plan will have a 100Mb download speed with 10Mb upload speed and remain at £29.99 with 100GB of usage per month. The current 100Mb plan will drop to £34.99 with a 10Mb upload and 150GB of usage per month. The 1Gb service will not change.

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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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9 Responses
  1. TheFacts says:

    State owned, no LLU. Easy!

    1. DTMark says:

      Let’s get on with renationalising it, then. Can’t be any worse 😉

  2. Peter says:

    …and they are not in the EU so none of the rubbish about it all being possibly being unfair state aid and subject to EU “rules”.

    I understand also that all the ADSL equipment is being switched off – so you get two options – pay the new higher rates for FTTP or get nowt.

    1. Ignition says:

      A few issues here.

      1) It’s a state owned monopoly. There’s no competition to distort.
      2) There is no impact on trade between member states.
      3) The Channel Islands voluntarily implement much of the EU’s competition policy anyway.

      That said, that was a fantastic way of weaving the EU into a thread and having a pop at them. Still if you like the look of the Channel Islands as a model they’re in the Customs Union, the mere idea of which seems to leave about half the country spitting blood. I’m surprised many people, who frankly have no idea about the EU, Single Market or Customs Union beyond what Farage, Banks, Gove, Johnson et al tell them, aren’t attempting to inflate balloons to try and lift the UK into the mid-Atlantic somewhere.

    2. wirelesspacman says:

      Am sure if we could tether a balloon large enough over Westminster, it would self inflate quite nicely!

  3. MikeW says:

    Slightly cheaper than KCOM Lightstream, but that includes call packages too.

    Two great, advanced rollouts. Slow progress, mind.

    Common features? Considerably less “wholesale”-style competition. More money goes to vertically-integrated suppliers. Slightly higher prices.

    Ofcom have reigned with a command of “compete”, forced fake competition, have given us low prices (Hurray!) and low capability (Boo!).

    1. Ignition says:

      I suppose we have to view the pace of the rollout in Jersey in context with the population and available resources in terms of labour, skills and other things.

      Amusingly Jersey and the UK both have a shortage of labour to get the civils done. BT and Virgin are competing to secure contractors.

  4. rage says:

    “Each JT Fibre plan comes with UNLIMITED off peak usage and a generous daytime usage
    allowance. The only thing you need to decide is what speed you need.

    Additional usage outside of peak time allowance is charged at 30p per GB. Peak usage is during the hours of 8am andmidnight. Usage is UNLIMITED during the off peak hours of midnight and 8am.”


    1. 125uS says:

      That document is 18 months old. Presumably the offer reported in the story is current?

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