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The 4th Utility Aim FTTH Broadband at 150000 New Build UK Homes

Friday, May 10th, 2019 (10:51 am) - Score 2,911

A new UK ISP called The 4th Utility (not to be confused with this provider of an identical name), which is targeting the new build homes market (large residential buildings / MDU), has announced that they’ve just connected their first customer to a new Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband network and many more will follow.

Initially the provider appears to be targeting around 10,000 customers and they’ve also partnered with Sky TV (SKY Q will be offered to all customers at the checkout when purchasing broadband), as well as FullComms. On top of that they’ve signed deals with several property developers including the Fortis Group, Crest Nicholson, Taylor Wimpe and David Wilson Homes (part of the Barratt Group) among others.

Apparently the Fortis Group are now “pledging to supply all their apartments” with The 4th Utility’s fibre broadband service, while around 1,300 new homes across 6 sites to be built by Crest Nicholson in the West Midlands will benefit and then there’s also another 800 properties via David Wilson Homes. Many more are also on their list.

According to the provider’s CTO, Jimmy Acton, they’ve just “kicked off proceedings” in Manchester as part of another partnership with McGoff at the newly released residential Downtown Development.

Jimmy Acton, CTO of The 4th Utility, told ISPreview.co.uk:

“The end to end full fibre solution has a best of breed router already positioned in each home and with an intelligent website ordering process, a new user can order online and be live within less than two minutes from ordering.

The technology built by digital agency FullComms uses APIs to link the hardware to the code; this enables on a successful sign up a wifi password for a property to be emailed instantly to the buyer. The speeds start at 100Mb synchronous and go up too 1Gb synchronous.”

The provider clearly has some big aspirations for itself, with Jimmy confirming that they have a “pipeline of over 150,000 homes to deliver too in the next 5 years.” Sadly there’s no information about the sort of packages and prices they’re offering to residential users on their website.

They also have a retrofit solution and plan to begin rollouts across multiple developments in the UK. However they seem likely to face competition from other more established providers in this field, such as Hyperoptic that has a long history of hooking up large residential apartment blocks.

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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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17 Responses
  1. Danny says:

    I woirry that the built in router may become obsolete and costly to replace also would this router work with only this provider or many other providers also?

    Note to author there is a mispelling on Taylor Wimpey you missed the Y off the end.

    1. Joe says:

      Perhaps its a Sky router but if not an its locked you could need a new one – you usually do.

    2. Danny says:

      I would hope they use a 3rd party router that allows for any network to connect via that particular router. But i guess you could be correct in your assumptions.

    3. Joe says:

      Tbh locked routers is wasteful but from a support pov they are so much easier to deal with.

    4. Danny says:

      I agree but its the Fibre company that is installing the router but they are allowing sky to use their network so i wonder if its the fibre companys router that allows sky to use it aswell as other ISP’s that use their network. Then it would be the best of both worlds really.

    5. Joe says:

      Just looked at their site and frankly I’m not clear on anything its very basic.

  2. Roger_Gooner says:

    Sky Q can be used with any ISP. I think all that’s happening is that 4th Utility is getting a cut from Sky for selling Sky Q.

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      In other similar builds the broadcaster’s Satellite TV channels have been distributed over a fibre network via a centralised Fibre Integrated Reception System (FIRS).

  3. AnotherTim says:

    I assume when the CTO says “The speeds start at 100Mb synchronous and go up too 1Gb synchronous” he means symmetric rather than synchronous?

  4. Steve Ankers says:

    The service is synchronous. The same speed upload and download at the same time.

    It is not part of a FIRS system.

    There is no router, it is a Cat6 or GPON solution with a high grade wireless AP.

    1. TheFacts says:

      What does symmetric mean then?

    2. Jim Weir says:

      Synchronous is the wrong word, it has no relevance to an IP connection – in fact the opposite if TCP & UDP communication was synchronous the internet would break.

      Regardless of their approach or technology deployed this is the wrong word & used incorrectly.

      Theres some great ideas there, like the hotspot signup process, but not sure you can deliver services at scale without a end user Router??

    3. A_Builder says:


      You can just plug into the ONT?

      OK that doesn’t provide any protection to the device being used but it will works.

  5. Jim Weir says:

    Strange they claim to be INCA gold standard (with the INCA gold logo) but dont appear on the INCA website as such??

  6. Jaylor says:

    I’ve checked and they are accredited but INCA have not updated their website.
    Also their packages are tailored to each residential apartments which sets them apart from their competitors.

    Be nice to welcome them instead of looking fir constant negative aspects!!

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