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Quickline Get £12m to Rollout 100Mbps Wireless Across North of UK

Monday, August 12th, 2019 (4:55 pm) - Score 1,896

Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) ISP Quickline, which is part of Bigblu, has today announced that they’ve secured an investment of £12 million to help rollout a new unlimited “ultrafast broadband” (100Mbps+) capable network to 30,000 premises across the north of the United Kingdom (or at least part of it).

At present Quickline’s network already serves premises across parts of North Yorkshire, Hull, East Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and North Nottinghamshire, although most of their residential service areas don’t seem to reach ultrafast speeds (at least it’s not officially advertised that way).

The provider has also been taking part in the £2.1m Government funded 5G Rural Integrated Testbed (5GRIT), which aimed to show that “5G triband can deliver 30Mbps broadband to remote rural areas.” The trial appeared to be doing this by harnessing a combination of high capacity 60GHz mmWave radio links and TV White Space (TVWS) technology.

Unusually today’s announcement doesn’t tell us anything about precisely what the operator will be doing, where or who is providing the new investment. Hopefully those details will follow soon.

NOTE: Steve Jagger is pictured at the top.

Steve Jagger, Founder and CEO of Quickline, said:

“This is fantastic news for Quickline. We believe that everyone in the UK should have access to high speed internet no matter where you live or work and this funding will allow us to significantly expand the size and scale of our infrastructure into rural and hard-to-reach areas.

By using a hybrid of fibre-optic and 5G fixed wireless access technologies we will be offering speeds of 100Mbps or more, with no caps on data. We aim to connect over 30,000 homes in the region over the next couple of years.

It also means we can look to consolidate the marketplace and leverage government grants such as those issued by Building Digital UK (BDUK) to further invest in rural broadband projects.”

Andrew Walwyn, CEO of Bigblu Broadband, added:

“Since we acquired Quickline, its performance has exceeded our ambitious expectations. It has also been at the forefront of broadband technology developments to deliver fixed wireless services, with fibre like performance, without the high cost and lengthy timescales associated with full fibre roll-out.

The market opportunity for a fibre backed fixed wireless network roll-out has never been so attractive with significant investment in the space, including government support, which will mean many more homes and businesses will get connected to next generation ultrafast broadband sooner and cheaper than before.”

The development is particularly interesting since it comes so soon after Boris Johnson became Prime Minister of the UK. One of Boris’s key campaign pledges was to ensure that every home is reached by a full fibre (FTTP) network by the end of 2025, which may conflict with the aforementioned desire to seek new BDUK grants / vouchers for wireless services.

On the other hand the existing system of Gigabit vouchers does technically still allow wireless ISPs to take part, so long as the network they deliver is upgradable to Gigabit capable (1Gbps+) speeds. At present this isn’t something we can judge since the announcement doesn’t include any solid details. In any case such network upgrades and the expansion of ultrafast broadband should be welcomed.

We note that Quickline can already deliver an unlimited 100Mbps capable service for £49.99 per month on a 12 month contract term, although so far this has only been offered to the specific villages of Kelk, Longhills, Upton, Blyton, Kexby, Heapham and Hessey alongside the new Rural Gigabit Connectivity (RGC) voucher scheme (here). We expect many more will soon follow.

UPDATE 5:06pm

We did ask about the source of this investment and to their credit the reply was extremely swift. Apparently the funding is comprised of a £4m credit facility from HSBC and £7.75m from Harwood. Existing investors have re-invested.

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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.
Leave a Comment
5 Responses
  1. Avatar DonnieIT says:

    Is this North of England or does it mean up to North of Scotland?

  2. Avatar Steve says:

    North of England, not the north of the UK

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      The press release said “north of UK”, albeit obviously only part of that as per the 30,000 figure. I’d agree they probably mean north of England but without more detail we can’t be sure.

  3. Avatar TheFacts says:

    Headline suggests complete coverage not just 30000 premises across the vast Notyh.

  4. Avatar A_Builder says:

    I misread the headline as QuickLime…….

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