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SSE Ponders Investment to Build its Own UK “Ultrafast Broadband” Network

Monday, June 12th, 2017 (5:15 pm) - Score 1,420

The director of SSE’s UK broadband business, David Walter, has hinted that the utility provider might be willing to make a major investment into building their own “ultrafast broadband” network, which could take fibre optic (FTTP/H) cables directly to customers (homes and businesses).

At present the broadband and phone service that SSE offers is effectively piggybacking off another network, while building their own network would be a completely different ball game and carries huge financial risks. However the company’s SSE Enterprise division has already established a strong network (here) and they’ve clearly got the skills to do something bigger. Nevertheless we doubt that SSE could go it alone.

According to the Telegraph, Walter is interested in pushing deeper into the telecoms sector but the company has not yet made any solid decisions about their future investment strategy. The report notes that SSE hasn’t ruled out the possibility of gobbling a major broadband ISP (TalkTalk?) or they could move forward in cooperation with a partner.

We’re inclined to take all of this with a pinch of salt, not least since context and correct terminology can be tricky things to get right in the broadband market. SSE could simply be referencing the additional investment required in order to expand their current wholesale deal to cover FTTP and G.fast services, or they might be talking about a tie-up with an operator like Cityfibre (e.g. not unlike Sky Broadband and TalkTalk did in York).

On the other hand SSE might be considering an agreement that would see them work more closely with Openreach and other ISPs. Openreach has recently hinted that they might be able to expand FTTP to 10 million premises by around 2025 (here), although they also said that this would only be possible with the support of Ofcom and other providers.

Leave a Comment
4 Responses
  1. Avatar adslmax Real says:

    And where is the money coming from?

    1. Avatar MikeW says:

      Same place as BT, VM, Gigaclear, City fibre. Investors & banks that want a return on their investment.

  2. Avatar RuralBroadbandSucks says:

    From the BDUK slush fund, which cannot and must not be used on rural consumer locations without them getting a community group together to prove they are then worthy for BT to fleece them ‘en masse’

  3. I wonder at the idea of buying TalkTalk such a decision could be ruinous to any company that want to harvest a good reputation. Talk Talk started out badly and went o hell as soon as it could. I don’t know what getting their facilities would offer but getting their staff would entail paying a shed load of people to p-off and don’t come back.

    Having said that, if they are not as silly as the article intimates, I might soon be on the move once more.

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