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WightFibre Updates on FTTP Roll-out Plan for the UK Isle of Wight

Monday, September 17th, 2018 (12:24 pm) - Score 1,342
wightfibre gigabit island

The CEO of cable broadband ISP WightFibre, John Irvine, has issued a short update on their £35m project to deploy a new 1000Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband network to cover 53,000 of the 61,000 homes on the Isle of Wight (Hampshire) by the end of 2022.

The update doesn’t add much to the original announcement in March 2018 (here), but they have now firmed up the dates for their previously announced roll-out plan. On top of that Irvine confirmed that their first pilot deployment to Gurnard Pines has seen 120 customers go live and the next one, at Staplers (Newport), is due to go live toward the end of this month.

Irvine also claimed that building the new network would require some 500,000 metres (500km) of trench to be dug, which would then be laid with 5 million metres of duct and 750 million metres of optical fibre. We don’t know what specific sort of fibre cables they’re using so it’s best not to get too carried away when reading figures like this.

In terms of the roll-out dates, the revised timeline is now much more specific and they are said to be “conservative“.

WightFibre’s Initial Rollout Plan
– Cowes and East Cowes – January 2019
– Newport – June 2019
– Ryde – March 2020.
– Sandown, Shanklin and Ventnor – June 2019 to December 2020

After that it’s understood that WightFibre will switch to focus on West Wight and at present there are no dates for that part of the project (too early).

John Irvine, Wightfibre CEO, said (Isle of Wight County Press):

“These dates are conservative. We are going to make these dates, no question, and there’s a chance it could be earlier. The challenge is the rural areas. There are around 4,000 to 6,000 homes where there is no commercial case for full-fibre broadband. That’s why we need to be creative.

Getting it to the West Wight will be a challenge but we’ll do it, by hook or by crook.”

The work is being supported by investment from Infracapital, which is also involved with FTTP/H broadband deployment plans at Gigaclear and TalkTalk. Sadly we don’t yet know precisely what sort of packages and prices will be available to those covered.

The new network represents a significant challenge to Openreach’s (BT) much slower FTTC (VDSL2) and ADSL2+ based connectivity on the island.

NOTE: The roll-out figure rises to 65,000 premises when including businesses.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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1 Response
  1. Avatar CarlT

    Virgin Media UK haven’t even managed to start rolling out DOCSIS 3.1, their FTTP areas use 3.0, their upload speeds are beaten by twisted pair copper services. WightFibre are apparently overbuilding with XGPON or 10GEPON. How strange.

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