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JT Completes FTTH Gigabit Broadband ISP Network on Jersey

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018 (8:45 am) - Score 1,540
gigabit jersey uk jt

The stated-owned telecoms operator JT Group (Jersey Telecom) has quietly confirmed that after 6 years they’ve finally completed the build of a new 1Gbps capable “ultrafast” Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH/P) broadband ISP network on the English Channel Island of Jersey. Any old copper lines will soon be gone too.

As we recall the original Gigabit Isles project was expected to cost around £41 million and this was part funded to the tune of £19 million by the States of Jersey via a freeze on dividend payments. Officially we haven’t seen a press release announcing that their roll-out is complete, although JT’s Corporate Affairs Director, Daragh McDermott, has confirmed that it happened on Friday 6th July 2018.

According to JT, the operator has now laid over 3,000km of individual fibre optic cable to “almost40,000 homes and 5,000 businesses on the island. On top of that their plan to turn Jersey into a true “fibre island” by the end of 2018 appears to be on-track, which means that their copper network will be disabled and all customers moved onto the new FTTH/P service.

Graeme Millar, JT CEO, said last month:

“Choosing to replace our copper network with a full-fibre one back in 2012 was a bold decision to make; however, we’ve always known that it was the right one. JT started the journey of rolling out our network years in advance of the point at which it would be required and we’re now at a place where many other jurisdictions want to be.

We’ve laid over 3,000 km of individual fibre-optic cable to almost 40,000 homes and 5,000 businesses. With 100 per cent of broadband customers soon to be connected to full-fibre, Jersey will have the highest fibre-to-the-home penetration in the world. That is something the whole Island can be proud of.”

Anybody paying attention to yesterday’s new ranking of 200 countries by average (mean) broadband download speeds (here), which was based on speedtests rather than actual network availability, will have similarly noted that Jersey is ranked at no. 10 with an average of 30.9Mbps (well above the UK on 18.57Mbps (no. 35), albeit about half the performance of top spot holder Singapore with 60.39Mbps). No doubt this will change once the copper services are finally consigned to the dustbin of history.

On the other hand it’s tricky to compare what Jersey has achieved with the rest of the United Kingdom (except possibly KCOM in Hull) because they are part of the British Isles and residents do have British passports, but the island is self-governing (i.e. a British Crown Dependency with its own financial and legal systems, as well as its own courts of law). The fact that JT is state-owned is a key factor in all this.

By comparison the UK has a much more competitive commercial market, where there’s a lot more flexibility at the wholesale level and consumer prices are lower. On the flip side all that competition and cheap packages mean less money to invest in network upgrades and this is partly why much of the country is still waiting for FTTH/P.

However JT’s FTTP/P model also has some problems, not least in terms of their restrictive allowances. Prices range from about £38.75 per month for a 236Mbps (47Mbps upload) package with a meagre 20GB usage allowance to £72.49 per month for 944Mbps (94Mbps upload) with a 300GB cap. You also have to pay a £50 one-off connection fee.

On the upside your usage is “unlimited” during the hours of midnight and 8am, while additional usage outside of the daytime allowance is charged at 30p per GB, but it’s still a pity that the ISP isn’t able to offer 24/7 style unlimited plans like others in the UK.

But those frustrated by the limited data allowances should take note. From 20th July to 3rd September 2018, JT will be giving “all” of its broadband customers a temporary upgrade to 944Mbps and unlimited usage at no extra cost. If they can do that for such a long period this summer then we expect they’ll be able to launch a proper unlimited plan in the future. Local ISP Sure can already offer something similar.

Meanwhile JT appears to be going well as a company. The operator recently published its Annual Review for 2017, which showed an increase in turnover of 41% from £185m to £261m, creating an operating profit for the year of a little over £11m. Some might criticise JT for taking so long to deploy the new network but this must be taken in the context of an island with difficult terrain and limited resources (labour, skills etc.).

NOTE: JT Fibre customers will also receive a Tilgin HG2372 AC wireless router.

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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.
Leave a Comment
4 Responses
  1. spurple

    maybe *if* I become a billionaire and free of financial concerns, i’d move there 🙂

  2. simon

    you dont need to be rich to live there

    • spurple

      Yea you’re right. I was just thinking in terms of finding the right job and convincing partner to move etc :).

  3. Paul

    Sure also provide broadband services using JT’s lines, but all their contracts are unlimited so no caps at all plus they are much cheaper. Their cheapest fibre package is £25 per month for 250Mb/s (download) 50Mb/s (upload).

    https://web.sure.com/jersey/internet/home-internet/unlimited-broadband

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