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Community Fibre Sign 1Gbps Broadband Deal for 54K Southwark Premises

Monday, March 19th, 2018 (6:58 pm) - Score 2,535

A second fibre optic ISP, Community Fibre, has this afternoon announced a separate agreement with the London UK borough of Southwark, which will see them deploying their 1Gbps FTTH broadband network to 54,000 properties owned by the local authority.

Earlier today the same council confirmed an agreement with Hyperoptic (here) to deploy a similar service to 53,000 council homes, as well as 46,000 other homes and 1,000 commercial premises in the area (at no cost to the taxpayer). The deal reflected 80% coverage of the borough with Gigabit capable broadband connectivity.

Hot on the heels of that announcement and it now looks as if we might know how the final 20% is going to be tackled (as well as the potential for overbuild), thanks to a second agreement with rival London ISP Community Fibre, which already has similar agreements with other local authorities in Wandsworth (35,000), Hammersmith and Fulham (17,000), Westminster (9,000), Genesis Housing (33,000), Richmond (9,000) and the City of London (2,800).

Cllr Fiona Colley, Southwark’s Cabinet Member for Finance, said:

“We are delighted to announce this agreement with Community Fibre, which opens up another opportunity for Southwark residents to take advantage of superfast broadband. Parts of our borough have been poorly connected for too long, but the council was determined to change that, and I’m delighted that residents will now see a huge improvement thanks to proactive companies like Community Fibre.”

Jeremy Chelot, CEO of Community Fibre, said:

“We are delighted to be working with the Southwark Council to bring Gigabit services to properties in London. Southwark Council’s commitment has made it easy for Community Fibre to bring this expansion to reality, showcasing how an innovative approach from a local authority can help us to provide the best connectivity to meet residents’ needs. Community Fibre plans to bring full-fibre connections to more than 500’000 properties across London by 2022, providing more Londoners with the Internet they deserve at affordable prices.”

Under the agreement Southwark Council will also benefit from free internet to community facilities, libraries and primary schools. The company also pledges to create new local jobs in the area as it continues its commitment to hire locally, as it has done elsewhere, and to increase digital skills by increasing its Digital Champion Network to include people from Southwark.

The company states that it now has access to 150,000 homes throughout London with the aim of having 500,000 properties connected with affordable ultra-fast Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband connections by 2022 as more and more London boroughs sign-up.

The unusually late timing of this media announcement suggests that somebody might have been caught on the hop by Hyperoptic’s press release this morning.

UPDATE:

CF has confirmed that some of their deployment may involve overbuild with Hyperoptic. Also the original figure of 53,000 from their press release has been updated to 54,000 (apparently there was a small mistake in their announcement).

Leave a Comment
5 Responses
  1. Avatar A_Builder says:

    Fantastic for residents and businesses of the borough.

    Going from awful connection to top notch connections.

    Some people will have a choice of who to get a very good connection from so it will be interesting to see how competition works.

    Maybe a model for things to come?

  2. Avatar James says:

    This is great news for Southwark and a bolt from the blue, particularly for those of us still stuck on the dreaded exchange only lines.

    However it isn’t clear from this whether CF are planning to cover the 20% of Southwark properties not covered by the Hyperoptic plans announced on the same day – this sounds like they have agreed to cover all Southwark council-owned properties, i.e. exactly what Hyperoptic are already covering (but without, as far as I can see, the added promise of private properties that are passed by the build).

    I live in a small private block of flats and am worried I will be left behind with my EOL and that Openreach will now lose interest in the area if it is 80% full fibre capable.

    Or do we think that, between this and the Hyperoptic annoucement, there will be full coverage in the borough?

    1. Avatar h42422 says:

      Probably not. There might be areas not covered by either.

      Do you have any bigger buildings nearby? I managed to get Hyperoptic to our building in Rotherhithe St (only 8 flats) the same time as they were doing a much bigger block of flats next door. They brought us our own fibre and equipment, so we are not tied to the other building in any way.

      If there is a building nearby that will be likely to be connected by them, you could be proactive and contact their sales. It was not too complicated a process for us, but we had to show some initiative inviting them over. Being a freehold and quick with the wayleave process did not probably hurt either.

    2. Avatar h42422 says:

      Openreach seems to have lost interest in the area years ago. They did some EOL rearrangements around Canada Water station and in the middle of the peninsula, but nothing around the docks or by the river. These areas have never been on their plans and probably never will, as they require gap funding to do that. If fibre providers are willing to do this free of charge, I doubt there will be anyone willing to pay Openreach to fix their network they designed badly themselves.

  3. Avatar Alloneword says:

    I live in Odessa Street and have just had FTTP installed and i know others have had it as well and OR are still doing more instal work in this area, things SEEM to be getting better but i also wonder about people who are in Housing Assoc NOT Southwark as a landlord, i do fear those folks will get shafted and be left with nothing but Relish which is ok (I have been using it for just over a year, using my own hardware and ext antenna) but i do see speeds drop to almost nothing during the weekday evening, so some of us will still be screwed IMO and for those people i feel sorry for them.

    All1

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