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Axione UK Planning to Build Full Fibre Broadband ISP Network

Friday, October 18th, 2019 (11:20 am) - Score 2,497
3d rendering of optical fiber background

Axione UK, which is a subsidiary of French communications provider Axione S.A.S, has revealed that they’re planning to deploy a new Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based Gigabit-capable broadband network in the United Kingdom, which would be made available for other ISPs to harness via wholesale. All eyes on Scotland.

Until fairly recently Axione UK was still listed as a dormant company (here), although it’s now listed as active. Regular readers will recall that they were one of the interested suppliers listed for the Scottish Government‘s new £600m R100 (Reaching 100%) project; this originally (here) aspired to make “superfast broadband” (30Mbps+) ISP networks available to “every single premise in Scotland” by the end of 2021 (March 2022 financial).

Since then BT has recently scooped up the first two of three LOTs under the R100 tender (here) and they did so without any rival bidders, although the remaining LOT 1 (North – Highlands and Islands, Angus, Aberdeen and Dundee etc.) is understood to have several bidders involved (Axione, BT and Gigaclear are still the most likely candidates).

Today we note that Axione UK has put in an application 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. As part of that they also confirmed their intention to build FTTP in order to “participate in the delivery of superfast fixed broadband services.”

The proposal states that Axione “aims to use the proposed FTTP network to offer a range of wholesale services to local authorities and telecom providers,” although it doesn’t state where this will take place in the UK. Obviously one option is R100 but after a little digging we discovered (credits Steve) that they’re also listed as one of the winning suppliers for a major £22m fibre project in Aberdeenshire.

Under this project Aberdeenshire Council will be the lead authority in establishing a “multi-supplier framework for network connectivity requirements through the installation of gigabit capable network services” (sounds similar to the Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) programme). The other associated suppliers for this contract are Commsworld, MLL Telecom, Pinacl Solutions and SSE Telecoms.

On the other hand it may also be related to the recent City Region Deal, which will see Aberdeenshire Council working to “deliver ultrafast connectivity to key industrial estates.” The objective of that is to see infrastructure and services in place which will offer “affordable high band width gigabit symmetrical up/download speed services to SMEs” (we note that most of the winning suppliers are business ISPs).

All of the above is on top of the Cityfibre’s separate £40m FTTH rollout in the city of Aberdeen (here). No doubt we’ll find out precisely what Axione’s role will be in all this shortly.

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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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2 Responses
  1. Avatar PeterCardiff

    Another day, another full fibre ISP!

  2. Avatar craski

    Aberdeenshire Council had all their schools and other public buildings networked (fixed wireless) years before BDUK passed a lot of their rural properties with FTTC. What they achieved was actually quite impressive given the topology and scale of the area. I wonder if the £22M contract is the next evolution of that network? If it is, it may not bring any benefit to neighbouring properties at all. Their “hilltop” fixed wireless system was private and not widely publicised that it even existed.

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