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Full Fibre Starts Rollout of New UK FTTP Wholesale Network

Saturday, October 5th, 2019 (12:01 am) - Score 5,950

Earlier this year we reported that fibre builder Full Fibre Limited had tentative plans to expand a Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based broadband ISP network (here) to reach “rural and semi-urban areas” around Devon, Surrey, Somerset, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. The build is now underway.

The provider, which operates its network as a wholesale platform for other ISPs (e.g. iNeedFibre) and seems likely to make use of Openreach’s (BT) Physical Infrastructure Access (PIA) product “wherever possible“, previously suggested that their new fibre network “would have the potential to deliver ultrafast and gigabit broadband services to residential and business users. Leased line services would also be available.”

Fast forward half a year and the good news is that Full Fibre Ltd. have already started work and made some good progress. At the time of writing they appear to be in the final stages of a major build in Leominster (Herefordshire), which will cover over 5,600 properties. Just to be clear this is essentially covering the whole town, which has previously been starved of superfast broadband access.

The Leominster build has also been supported by a grant from the state aid fuelled Fastershire project (mostly for the local Enterprise Park) and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Fastershire’s grant provides up to £25,000 of the capital installation cost for any eligible SME business that is not going to be reached by the project’s main rollout contracts or any commercial deployments.


The provider also has other builds in the ground around Shrewsbury (Shropshire) and Ivybridge (Devon), with more towns starting before Christmas. Shrewsbury itself is about to go live with plans to extend that out to further into the town at a later date.

Meanwhile their Ivybridge build is stretching out onto Rural Dartmoor, picking up the scenic Redlake industrial Estate (also known as the Clay Factory), through Bittaford and up to Moorhaven.

Oliver Helm, CEO of Full Fibre, said:

“High quality, fast and reliable broadband is vital to the growth of businesses and can both unlock substantial savings and facilitate growth.

The infrastructure we’ve built provides a stable, future proofed, solution for local business and our wholesale only approach enables internet service provider (ISPs) to offer competitive, reliable services without tying users to one provider.”

In terms of pricing, using iNeedFibre as the baseline example (other ISPs like AirBroadband carry the service), the residential packages range from about £25 per month for a 50Mbps service to £80 for 330Mbps. The latter is quite expensive but then some of the areas being targeted are the sort that would be fairly expensive for a commercial operator to reach, which is reflected in the price you pay.

One problem here is that the supporting ISPs don’t at present provide much information on their related packages, prices or terms. We assume this will follow once the builds reach completion and locals start looking to get connected.

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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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15 Responses
  1. AnotherTim says:

    I thought Leominster was part of the Fastershire phase 2 contracts awarded to Gigaclear – what is happening to that contract? It is still on the Gigaclear roll-out map.

    1. Copper Island says:

      Gigaclear are focussing on the countryside around the Herefordshire towns rather than the towns themselves. You’ll find the Gigaclear seas skirting around anywhere with substantial population.

    2. AnotherTim says:

      Well in that case it will be disappointing for those that have been waiting for Gigaclear for years to see a newcomer come in and fibre up the neighbours in just a few months. I hope FullFibre do more areas!

    3. Copper Island says:

      To be honest I didn’t actually know anything about Leominster being done, it’s not something that has been covered in the local media at all and haven’t spotted any vans around when I’ve been there. Could certainly do with some better publication.

      I’m in a smaller town about 10 miles from Leominster on FTTC but surrounded now by a mix of OpenReach and Gigaclear fibre, so would be hopeful to see them move our away soonish.

    4. AnotherTim says:

      Looking at roadworks.org, I see some Gigaclear works planned around Luston and Shobdon going out until April 2020, so there does look to be some activity.
      Unfortunately there isn’t any sign of any planned works anywhere near my area which is supposed to start Q1 2020.
      I does seem that almost all of the Fastershire progress in in Herefordshire rather than Gloucestershire these days.

  2. Copper Island says:

    Have you got any insight to the other areas in Herefordshire this firm would be interested in covering?

  3. Harry says:

    I wonder when Lincoln is getting any love ;(

  4. 1pF says:

    Yet again Fastershire have failed to keep people informed. Let’s hope Gigaclear and them sort themselves out or Fshire give the contract to someone else to speed up delivery.

  5. FibreBubble says:

    PIA has blown a massive hole in Gigclear and it’s lenders.

  6. A_Builder says:

    Well look on the bright side – finance for rural FTTP now exists and general commercial pressure as Giga are not the only player in that market.

    If giga don’t solve it others will step in and I suspect it will be split up as it is to hard to manage that degree of uniqueness and complexity.

  7. Gogmagog says:

    Once all the firms like Giga and others, and BT have completed their works, will customers be able to change supplier to their address, or will a location be tied permanently to the detriment of competitioon

    1. Fastman says:

      my understanding is the gigaclear network is completely separate to the openreach network . the openreach network is a wholesale network only (from those provider using the openreach platform)- not sure if the gigaclear is that in practice or only name but it does not use the openreach network

  8. gogmagog says:

    So, anyone taking up a service from the likes of Gigaclear will be captive to them, and so will future occupants of the property, unless OFCOM comes up with some suitable workable regulations.

    What is allowed to encourage competition could end as the opposite.

    1. Andrew Ferguson says:


      The lists for retail ISP and business ISP partners

    2. AnotherTim says:

      Has anyone used any of the Gigaclear partners? A couple of years ago (when Gigaclear were due to start building in my area) I spoke to a several Gigaclear partner ISPs, but none I spoke to actually had an agreement as the wholesale price wasn’t viable for them – the list of partners is mostly different now so hopefully the situation has changed. However, Air are the only currently listed partner with a reference to Gigaclear that I can find on the linked websites (those that actually work).

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