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New UK ISP Fibrus Start N.Ireland Rollout of FTTP Broadband

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019 (2:15 pm) - Score 1,476
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New full fibre ISP Fibrus, which last year said it planned to invest £100m+ over the next 5 years in order to build a new 1000Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband network across part of Northern Ireland (here), has today officially begun their rollout in Dundrum (County Down).

At present a highly respectable 25% of premises in Northern Ireland (Ofcom’s may 2019 data) can already access a “full fibre” network, which has risen sharply since 16% in January 2019 (here) but most of that is as a result of private investment from Openreach (BT) and Virgin Media. Otherwise the region has tended to lack much choice in terms of alternative FTTP network providers, until now.

By comparison Fibrus, which was co-founded by telecoms executives Conal Henry and Dominic Kearns (boss of business ISP b4b), intends to become a new player in the market. The new operator thus aims to employ 80 direct staff over the next 18 months and create job opportunities for sub-contractors helping to deliver the network.

The company says it now has “plans to roll out its new fibre broadband network across dozens of towns and villages in Northern Ireland over the coming months,” which would be in keeping with the outline they gave as part of last year’s announcement (pasted again below).

Fibrus Projects

• Fibrus to the Business Park – already underway this initiative will see Fibrus directly connect 4,500 business in 40 business parks and high streets around the province to full fibre networks

• Metro Fibrus – Working with local authorities around the province to Fibrus will aim to develop full open access MANs (Metro Area Networks) that have proven transformational in attracting economic development to towns and cities.

• Fibrus to the Home – targeting those homes with poor copper services, Fibrus aims to work with local, regional and national government to find ways to get every home in the province connected to full open access fibre.

The operator will of course face competition from the established giants but they do at least appear well positioned and resourced to do battle.

Conal Henry, Fibrus Chairman, said:

“We’re delighted to finally get under way with the roll out and can’t wait to bring the digital infrastructure to Northern Ireland that is fit for purpose and future proof for the next 30 to 50 years.

Resilient and fast full fibre connectivity is the corner stone of the most advanced societies and we will invest heavily in connecting homes and businesses throughout Northern Ireland. The Fibrus team has been working hard to get ready for this build and we continue to strengthen our team with the expertise to build a state-of-the-art network at pace.

We are also delighted to announce the appointment of Conor Harrison as our Chief Operating Officer, who brings over 20 years’ experience building telecoms networks. There are few people in Great Britain or Ireland with the depth and quality of network build experience that Conor has, and the Fibrus team and wider community will greatly benefit from his knowledge.”

Conal added that Fibrus intend to keep their rollout plans “under wraps” for now (they’re probably wary of bigger competitors trying to crowd them out), although he did confirm that they now plan an “initial investment” of £84 million and that should be enough to do quite a significant deployment (no figures were given for premises passed targets).

Prices start from £35 per month (currently discounted to £17.50) for an unlimited 100Mbps package with a router and free installation (it’s only free with a gigabit voucher), which rises to £75 per month (discounted to £50) for their top 1000Mbps tier. All of these are on 24 month contract terms. The first customers should be live in November.

NOTE: Picture Left to Right – Craig Adair (Network Delivery Manager), Patrick Kielty, Conor Harrison (COO).

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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 SuperFast Dream

    I find this quite interesting, the fact that they have elected to start in a small village.

    If their initial approach is towards the smaller villages/towns and growing from there then I don’t think they would have much of a challenge laid down to them from OR or VM.

    I am sure these smaller towns and villages, especially rural, would often be seen as ‘not business viable’ from the bigger players, possibly opening up quite a large market for Fibrus to approach!

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