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Boundless Networks to Bid on North Yorkshire Broadband Rollout Contract

Friday, October 13th, 2017 (11:26 am) - Score 361
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Fixed wireless ISP Boundless Networks has revealed that they intend to bid on Phase 3 of the state aid supported Superfast North Yorkshire project, which if successful would expand their “ultrafast broadband” (100Mbps+) network to cover 25,000 premises in rural areas across the county.

At present the SFNY project is only working alongside Openreach (BT) to help make “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) services available to around 90% of local premises via their fixed line Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC / VDSL2) and Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technologies. The original contract recently completed (830 new fibre cabinets) and this extended the network to an additional 161,115 homes and businesses in North Yorkshire.

The local authority is now going through initial procurement work for a future Phase 3 contract, which should aim to achieve up to 95% coverage by mid-2019 and will be supported by a public investment of around £20.5 million (£12m from the County Council, £7.3m from Broadband Delivery UK and £1m from the ERDF).

However Boundless Networks, which is currently home to 3,468 residential and 503 business users on their networks in Lancashire and Yorkshire (3,000 more are expected to sign-up over the next 2 years), has revealed (as part of their submission for Code Powers to Ofcom) that they intend to bid on the new SFNY contract.

On top of that they are also hoping to expand into South Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Cheshire, with future plans that could include the north of England into Cumbria.

Ofcom Statement

It has explained they will be bidding for Phase 3 of the Superfast North Yorkshire project, which if successful will allow them to provide NGA broadband services from 100Mbps to 2Gbps to approximately 25,000 properties across North Yorkshire. The Superfast North Yorkshire project is a government funded project in co-operation with North Yorkshire County Council and BDUK.

As part of their business growth, the Applicant will look to build a number of telecommunications structures, which will range from small 12m wooden telegraph poles to larger 25m steel lattice tower structures. They will also be able to offer high speed broadband services of up to 10Gbps in some locations, where fixed line services are either not available, or the cost of delivering a high speed service is not viable to their customers.

Code Powers typically make it easier and cheaper for network operators to expand their infrastructure into new areas, which might otherwise attract a lot of licences for street works or run into other obstacles with planning restrictions or land access. The regulator has provisionally proposed to grant the powers and if history is any judge then that position will be upheld at the end of a brief consultation.

Residential customers on Boundless’s network typically pay £29.99 inc. VAT for an unlimited 30Mbps (10Mbps upload) service on a 12 month contract, which doesn’t include the £150.00 one-off installation charge (this comes with a router). Ultrafast packages are also available and start from only £42.99 per month, although these still don’t show up on their website.

One caveat is that their usage allowances are stated to be “unlimited“, although they attach a Fair Usage Policy (FUP) to these that vaguely threatens to restrict users “who download large amounts at peak times regularly” (apparently this only affects around 5% of their subscribers).

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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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1 Response
  1. MikeW

    Intend to bid?

    At last telling, SFNY should have announced the contract back in April.

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