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Three New FTTP Broadband ISPs Emerge with Big UK Rollout Plans UPDATE

Friday, September 27th, 2019 (11:43 am) - Score 10,487

The number of alternative network (altnet) UK ISPs, which are all planning to deploy Gigabit capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband networks in an already fairly crowded market, has just increased yet again today with the tentative additions of Vorboss, Netomnia and Internetty (formerly Bright Orange Networks).

At this point we’re familiar with seeing a new full fibre ISP emerge almost every single month, although this is the first time where three have been identified in the same week. Currently very little is known about each of the ISPs, although Internetty has been in the market for a few years under different names (in 2017 they were Binary Source, then in 2018 they became Bright Orange Networks and now Internetty).

All of the aforementioned providers have also put in recent applications for Code Powers from Ofcom, which can help to speed-up the deployment of new fibre optic networks and cut costs by reducing the number of licenses needed for street works.

Take note that all of the ISPs below have also expressed an interest in harnessing Openreach’s (BT) recently revised Physical Infrastructure Access (PIA) product (i.e. running their own optical fibre cables through or over Openreach’s existing underground cable ducts and overground telegraph pole infrastructure).

Netomnia Limited

We’ll kick things off by taking a quick look at Netomnia, which was first incorporated on 21st May 2019 and at the time of writing we haven’t been able to find a website for them. The company boss appears to be Jeremy Chelot (different address from Community Fibre’s former CEO of the same name) and they’re based in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

However, despite being a brand new ISP, the provider still plans to build a FTTP network to serve homes and businesses in “predominantly in suburban areas.” The aim of this is to deploy its network to 1 million premises by 2022 and 3 million by 2025 (i.e. focusing on locations where FTTP has yet to be built), which is a surprisingly dramatic target for an operator that we’ve never heard of before.

Vorboss Limited

Vorboss is an interesting London-based provider, not least because it was first incorporated all the way back in 2006 and is currently marked on Companies House as having overdue accounts (they were due on 30th June 2019). The two listed Directors (active ones) are Mark Alan Boost and Timothy Creswick.

Otherwise Vorboss appears to now have an aspiration to build their own FTTP network for homes and businesses in “large urban areas across the UK.” The aim appears to be to deploy this full fibre network to 250,000 premises by 2022. Sadly we don’t know much more than that and their website is quite vague.

Internetty Limited

Last on our list, but by no means least, is the Stoke-On-Trent based Internetty that was first incorporated in 2014 and, as above, has been through several recent name changes (the current Director is Sarah Ann White). The provider already claims to have around 8,000 users, although their website doesn’t offer much detail on their products or coverage.

Despite this they now intend to build a new FTTP network to serve “rural and semi-urbanised areas,” which they say will initially focus on North Lincolnshire and subsequently other areas across the UK. The provider also intends to supplement its fibre platform with a Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) network to serve properties which are not viable to connect to via FTTP network.

As ever we’ll be keeping a close eye on all of these new players to see whether or not their aspirations come to fruition.

UPDATE 30th September 2019

The boss of Vorboss, Timothy Creswick, has kindly confirmed that their initial roll-out will focus on Central London, where they intend to connect 100 or so of their existing customers in the first few months. The work will involve replacing leased fibre tails with owned fibre to support bandwidth growth.

Most of these are already 10Gbps capable customers (businesses) and they expect to have 10+ customers on 100Gbps connections by this time next year, with the first 100Gbps delivery currently in progress (a large tower in the City).

Leave a Comment
13 Responses
  1. Avatar mrpops2ko says:

    I love the way BT has told us for decades that under no circumstances would it be possible to have FTTP. Costs too high. Not viable in cities. Not viable in rural areas. Costs are too great.

    Then suddenly BT can move heaven and earth when a bunch of real competition springs up. I’d switch to an alt-net in a heartbeat if they came to me.

    Really does go to show how just a little bit of competition changes the dynamic massively.

    1. Avatar Meadmodj says:

      Fibre costs have come down significantly and BT was wedded to certain engineering practices. Much has now changed. In addition BT/OR has traditionally kept to national pricing and this will no doubt be under review. BT hasn’t got a technical issue its a debt one.

      Competition may drive down pricing but it is more likely to simply limit excesses. Past experience appears to show that BT still sets the base prices and the competition just under cuts them marginally in price/servicepackage. There are some aggressive offers but these will be short term. We will have to await and see if the competition of Altnet vs Altnet is any better. In my experience the market charges what it can get away with.

      What is clear from these continuing Altnet announcements is that there are many investors that think there is real money in it and that they can probably get a few years of Full Fibre monopoly if they act quick and focus their market.

    2. Avatar Simon C says:

      Not exactly – BT headed full fibre in the 80s, before Margaret Thatcher killed it, as it was in danger of annoying a few rich friends….
      https://www.techradar.com/uk/news/world-of-tech/how-the-uk-lost-the-broadband-race-in-1990-1224784

    3. Avatar beany says:

      Quite what happened in the 80’s let alone a news item that is half a decade old has to do with anything, i guess only you and your repeated posting of it will ever know.

  2. Avatar PIA Approved says:

    Hopefully these new alt nets start to use more premium PON/PIA approved equipment in there networks. #CommScope

    1. Avatar Chris@ecom says:

      Why? Point to point Ethernet is far better than any kind of PON and gigabit Ethernet switches are cheap and plentiful. Why anyone bothers with PON is beyond me, let alone desires a provider to use it.

  3. Avatar Bob says:

    Vorboss are also Ai Networks by the way (ai.co.uk)
    They merged a few months ago (Ai was Mark Boost’s company).

  4. Avatar boggits says:

    Netomnia (which I’m sure is someone else’s trademark) does look connected to Jeremy Chelot (unless being born in Sept 83 and being French are more common for people with that name) formally of Community Fibre & ISPA (there are resignations for both listed at companies house)

  5. Avatar REVEREND PAUL RANDLE says:

    This does NOTHING for the majority of the country. It just benefits those that can already get FTTP, creating a price war!

    I have been waiting YEARS for ISPs to get there act in order, and actually EXPAND their FTTP networks. It seems all ISPs concentrate on “The CITY” and “HOME COUNTIES”, leaving the rest of the country to only be envious!

    For those wondering: I am in Wellington, Somerset.

    1. Avatar CarlT says:

      Strange. The vast majority of those in cities and the home counties can’t get FTTP right now let alone in the past, so not sure where that comes from.

      As far as I’m aware there’s no divine right to FTTP anywhere, let alone a ‘small market town in rural Somerset’.

  6. Avatar RobWelsh says:

    My favourite part of new ISP’s is Mark’s reaction. “Another one” “One every month”. However it is amazing how many new ISP are coming up. Is it a good or bad thing? Will Ofcom change the rules of Code Powers as so many have applied?
    Only time will tell!

  7. Avatar 5G Infinity says:

    XGS-PON

  8. Avatar FibreBubble says:

    From what I can make of it, every man and his dog are trying to cram their cables into BT’s ducts now it as cheap as chips to do so.

    This makes a very big hole in firms who have spent the last few years digging up the highway’s business plans.

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