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New UK ISP Plans Full Fibre Broadband and Ethernet Services for Cambridge

Friday, November 24th, 2017 (11:17 am) - Score 1,378
fibre optic cables on pcb circuit board

A new provider called Cambridge Fibre Networks, which doesn’t yet appear to have a website, has applied to Ofcom for Code Powers in order to help it construct a new multi-Gigabit speed “full fibre” (FTTH/P) broadband network for homes and businesses around the East and West of Cambridge.

According to the application, CFN aspires to build an unlimited 1Gbps Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) service for 1,400 potential homes and a “hyperfast” 10Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network for businesses during “early2018 (a 100Gbps Leased Line solution is also mooted), which will use a mix of PON, GPON and XGS-PON fibre technologies.

Operators often seek Code Powers from Ofcom before conducting a major network build because it can help to simplify and speed-up the planning process by reducing the number of licenses needed for civil engineering work (digging up streets etc.). Such applications are often contain highly aspirational plans and should thus be taken with a pinch of salt until confirmed.

CFN’s Deployment Aspiration (Ofcom Application)

It’s also likely in the next few years as technology develops they will also be introducing the newest generation of PON equipment, which is capable of speeds up to 40Gbps. The 10Gbps broadband services which the Applicant will be offering both to residential and business users, is currently not on the market from any large-scale providers in the UK.

The Applicant has also confirmed they intend to use infrastructure where available from other partner networks, including Openreach’s Physical Infrastructure Access (PIA) product, to extend the network to less well-connected areas. The Applicant has confirmed they will build their own duct-based infrastructure where needed, and plan to interconnect with other third party infrastructure. This will enable them to bring Fibre To The Premise (FTTP) infrastructure to several business parks and a Fibre To The Home (FTTH) passing 1,400 potential customers in early 2018.

The existing network consists of three London-based network nodes for internet access, with a diverse backhaul to a network node in Cambridge. The initial target territory for the network is the Cambridge technology cluster and the East Anglia region. This will also be extended to the other regions such as the East Midlands and London.

The first build will focus primarily on Cambridge West and East areas that are currently underserved, and subsequently to surrounding villages/towns where no alternative fibre operators are available. Although it is the intention to focus on the local region in the short to medium term, there is the intention to build similar networks in other towns and cities across the UK in the longer term.

The ISP appears to have been incorporated at the end of December 2016 (here) and its Managing Director, John McEleney, is also the MD of another small business internet provider called Netservers that has been around for quite a few years. In that sense Cambridge Fibre Networks would appear to have a reasonably experienced teamed behind it, which is usually a positive sign.

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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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