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WightFibre FTTH Broadband Rollout Progressing on UK Isle of Wight

Wednesday, August 28th, 2019 (9:03 am) - Score 789
wightfibre van and engineers

Cable broadband ISP WightFibre appears to be ramping-up their £35m project to rollout a new Gigabit (1Gbps) capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband network on the Isle of Wight (South Coast of Hampshire), which aims to cover around 53,000 of the islands 61,000 homes by the end of 2021 (65,000 premises including businesses).

The project, which is being supported by Infracapital, was first announce in March 2018 after a series of smaller trials (here and here) and deployment finally began earlier this year around Newport, Cowes and East Cowes. Since then the teams have been gradually ramping up their efforts to replace the old Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC DOCSIS) network with full fibre and the deployment pace is now kicking up a gear.

Over the next few months (between late August and early December 2019) it looks like masses of “full fibre” work will be taking place around the rest of Cowes (west side), Shanklin and Ryde. A number of smaller supporting or infill deployments are also planned for parts of Newport, Lake (focused upon a retail area to the west), Binstead and Seaview. A new fibre link is also being built down the road from Arreton to Apse Heath (related to the Lake and Shanklin efforts).

The above update is based on currently active / planned roadworks and public planning application data, although we know from the original plan that deployments around the Ryde area are expected to continue into March 2020, while work in Sandown, Shanklin and Ventnor could run until the very end of next year.

After that the plan is to focus upon the island’s poorly served western side, although an exact roll-out strategy for this has yet to be unveiled.

Wight’s Full Fibre Packages (Unlimited)

Full-Fibre 50Mbps – £27.49 per month
Full-Fibre 100Mbps – £37.49 per month
Full-Fibre 300Mbps – £47.49 per month
Full-Fibre 500Mbps – £57.49 per month
Full-Fibre 900Mbps – £67.49 per month

NOTE: You can add a VoIP based phone service for an extra +£6 per month and anytime UK calls for +£8.40

Overall the operator predicts that it will need to build 500,000 metres (500km) of new trench, which would then be laid with 5 million metres of duct and 750 million metres of optical fibre. We did ask WighFibre if they could provide an official update or comment on their progress (they’ve been silent on it since the start of this year) but have not been able to get a response.

Nevertheless it’s clear from the publicly available data that the pace of their rollout is currently quite strong and may even peak over the next few months. After that we suspect the work could start to slow as they begin focusing upon some of the harder / less populated areas.

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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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