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ISP People’s Fibre Aim FTTP Broadband at Poorly Served Areas

Friday, January 10th, 2020 (10:39 am) - Score 3,319
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A new London-based “full fibre” network builder called People’s Fibre has just entered the market, which is promising to deploy a gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network “across the UK,” albeit focusing upon areas where such networks are currently non-existent or poor.

At this stage very little is known about the new provider. The company was first incorporated on 20th March 2019 and its Director is Leo Chong, an Icelandic national. The company already has a fairly solid website, although this doesn’t reveal anything about their current network coverage (their projects page is blank) but they have still managed to list package details.

The residential side of their service is being priced from £30 per month (plus £50 one-off connection fee) for a symmetric speed 30Mbps package on a 12 month term and this rises to £60 per month if you want their top 900Mbps package (free connection with a gigabit voucher). We assume these packages offer unlimited usage but it doesn’t say.

The ISP has also put in new application for Code Powers from Ofcom, which may help to speed-up the deployment of new fibre optic networks and cut costs by reducing the number of licenses needed for street works. The application doesn’t reveal much, but it does confirm that they intend to harness Openreach’s (BT) existing cable ducts and poles to run their own fibre where viable (Physical Infrastructure Access).

The People’s Fibre has an online chat system on their website and we used that to ask a quick question about their current network coverage: “No we haven’t done any deployments in UK but working on our first area at the moment. Our key personnel has been deploying full fibre in Sweden for the last 10 years,” said the support agent. Sadly they couldn’t tell us where that first area is but did promise to make an announcement soon.

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25 Responses
  1. Avatar CarlT

    In before the usual poster worshipping altnets and denegrating BT.

  2. Avatar AnotherTim

    I don’t believe that the proliferation of small altnets is actually helping – they produce a lot of press releases, but their rate of building networks is very slow. However, they give the illusion of progress, as they get press coverage – and that stops other work which may actually help people get better broadband sooner.
    What I think we need is just two or three companies that are able to build nationally at scale (and with speed), and the others to get out of the way.

    • Avatar Roger_Gooner

      The reason why we have several altnets is because those “two or three companies” are not delivering across the UK. And OFCOM, quite rightly, isn’t going to tell private investors to go away in favour of a few big incumbents.

    • Avatar AnotherTim

      Actually, I would say that the statistics show that larger companies are delivering much more than the smaller altnets. BT are building way more FTTP connections a month than e.g. Gigaclear have managed to build ever. And a good number of altnet builds have failed – putting the people in those areas back to square one. A lot of other altnet build areas are vastly delayed.
      When I look at Gigaclear’s history I see a company that was hyped until it was bought out – then the hype (and the MD) vanished leaving unbuilt networks and long delays.

    • Avatar Leex

      That’s only a recant thing (openrech doing actual FTTP not fttc) only this year where new Estate installs have to be FTTP now

      Personally FTTP should have been from the start with BDUK but it was not feasible for the time period that they wanted it and it probably would have cost it 10 times more (that they are going to have to pay any way as they slowly do FTTP over next 5-15 yeara)

    • Avatar FibreBubble

      You can use BT’s duct and pole assets for peanuts now which has fuelled a lot of the recent speculative builds.

    • Avatar Graham

      Actually Tim the altnets are making a big difference as many are really assisting in areas that suffer from very poor broadband and also terrible
      Mobile so rural communities are actually getting some focus and assistance where the big two or three would not go for many years … and with the incredible support of DCMS fibre is actually happening in different location types all over the U.K.

    • Avatar AnotherTim

      Altnets make a big difference to the people they connect. They are not making much difference overall – they just can’t build fast enough.
      For example, 3 years ago Gigaclear were awarded the Fastershire Lot2 FTTP contract – to date they have not connected a single property in that lot. So BT, who haven’t got the contract, have actually been out-building them (even though they haven’t done much there either).

  3. Avatar Jake

    Why do we need any more fibre investment in London? Everyone in London is already at least 4 times wealthier than anywhere else.

    “…Across the UK…” merely translates to “in London or just outside it”

    What about investing being the FIRST network in other areas, not the SEVENTH around London?

    Everyone in London has way too much choice and way too much money.

    • Lots of companies are based in London for convenience, although that doesn’t generally reflect their network rollout. At present we don’t know where this ISP will be deploying.

    • Avatar Stu F

      Totally agree Jake. Why dont these companies actually invest where Openreach cant be arsed….which is most of the UK.

    • Avatar Gary

      Stu, because even If we ignore the capacity of Openreach to do simultaneous deployment work, If OR find an area uneconomic its not that likely to be attractive to an alt net.

      Factor the cost of deployment vs the monthly return on those connections and the timescale to breaking even on deploying fibre isn’t attractive, admittedly, there after the profit vs cost of running/maintaining that network should look better but its still a long game.

    • Avatar CarlT

      Some of the most deprived areas of the country are in London. You have no idea what you are talking about, Jake.

    • Avatar Malcolm

      Jake you couldn’t be further from the truth – not everyone has too much choice – I live in Southwark and currently have no choice of fibre broadband – actually the altnets in Southwark Hyperoptic and Community Fibre have done deals to supply all the council properties leaving other properties with nothing – what I am seeing is that I have less choice getting my 5.5 mb download speed – if I can source an alternative supplier they will estimate my download at 4mb with a guarantee of around 1.5 – 2mb – now come the USO coming in force I think even more suppliers will drop the sub USO connections

  4. Avatar John

    1. Will Vodafone, or providers like Sky provide FTTP via Openreach Fibre to properties in Norfolk?

    Literally just seen that after years of slow speeds, finally, Openreach says on their main (Full Fibre Ready) and wholesale site that “FTTP is available”. However, only the BT website shows “Ultrafast 2” as available whereas other providers do not show FTTP as being on offer to the same address.

    Currently on Vodafone Superfast with a speed of around 4 Mbps on VDSL. The BT maximum product on offer is 330 Mbps. Would Vodafone offer the Gigafast (via Cityfibre) service anytime soon because right now their own checker doesn’t show anything other than their FTTC offering despite Openreach saying this area is FTTP ready and BT saying they can do it.

    Hoping Vodafone, Sky, TalkTalk will offer services to FTTP properties outside of the cities on Openreach lines which would drive competition and lower prices islandwide. Can anyone enlighten me on whether rural Norfolk would have a choice of providers?

    2. From what I understand, my exchange uses Huawei equipment/ECTs. So why does the Openreach checker say “up to 330”. Will it not be possible to get a residential package with speeds of 900-1000Mbps?

    • Avatar CarlT

      We’ve already been through this, John.

      They’ll offer the products nationwide when they are ready to release them. They do not have any particular aversion to rural Norfolk, not least because it won’t be your rural Norfolk exchange your FTTP connects through.

    • Avatar CarlT

      Also the Openreach checker doesn’t say 330 as far as I’m aware. You’re thinking of the BT Wholesale one.

      It says that because they haven’t installed a 10 Gb port to the bit of kit you connect to at whichever exchange your fibre goes back to.

      They have a bunch on order. The gigabit products aren’t released until late March at the earliest, you’re on 4 Mbps right now so it seems insane you’re fixated on a gigabit when you could be on 330 Mb right now.

      Vodafone, Sky and TalkTalk offering 1 Gb over Openreach will not start some mass price war. They cannot go much cheaper than BT Consumer.

    • Avatar John

      CarlT

      Thanks for your response. I hope you appreciate that for those of us who have waited literally nearly a decade for any investment and progress on the internet, let alone finally getting FTTP available, we are seeking the best information and best value for money (as would everyone).

      As far as I am aware, the Exchange uses Huawei equipment, so why would the Fibre not essentially be able to carry up to 10 Gb and thus give us an “Up to 1000 Mb” download speed in this area?

      330 Mb is of course great. But naturally one would hope that the “Full Fibre” is future proofed and the best service can be negotiated when buying new (as opposed to trying to upgrade during). I am not saying that prices will somehow get slashed in half, but having multiple providers offering FTTP via Openreach would surely boost competition and benefit the consumer. Right now we can still go to multiple providers for the unreliable copper broadband which constantly goes with an abysmal 4Mps (that is rare to get that high).

      However only BT show “Full Fibre”, and since Vodafone Gigabit via City Fibre is only in cities, and their customer service (incorrectly) informed me oh yes, it’s showing available and the Gigabit checker needs to update, I’m looking for any info I can from experts like yourselves.

      And surely the 330 will come down in price if multiple people offer it in April! Which makes me hesitant to sign up with BT. They are all probably equally public enemies with regards to customer service, but the 2 year contract with BT and constant price rises means they tend to take the cake in that regard.

      What I’m asking is, will BT, Sky, Vodafone etc all offer FTTP via Openreach from April 2020? AND will the speed not be up to 1000Mb? I can’t understand why they would only go up to 330 Mb?

    • Avatar A_Builder

      This has been covered on here a few times.

      OR originally spec’d most of their early FTTP networks as 330 with backhaul that was certainly not 10Gb.

      Given that OR now want to be able to market symmetric business services these will have to be upgraded.

      I’m a harsh critic of OR pre fibre first but I find it hard to criticise the ability to get 330 over glass right now with a transition from 330 -> 1G in sniffing distance.

      Order the 330 and see how you get on with it. Unless you are doing something amazingly data heavy the download won’t be an issue. The other joy of FTTP is the latency so anything involving repeated handshakes runs a lot faster than the difference in bandwidth would suggest.

    • Avatar John

      @A_Builder

      Thanks. Latency is indeed a benefit of FTTP. And 330Mb sounds like it will be a phenomenal speed. It’s Full Fibre. My only concern is that how long will “sniffing distance” be? Potentially within the life cycle of the first FTTP contract that a customer takes out? Many of us were told that Fibre was only “6 months away” and that was 10 years ago. It’s almost like a dream that FTTP has suddenly come onto the scene!

      Just hope that the line will be future proofed so that 1000Mb will be available. Things are constantly changing and the fastest possible speed being available would be excellent, along with maximum competition and choice of providers.

      1. I think it best to wait till April 2020 to see if others will offer FTTP via Openreach right?
      2. Even with BT (the largest consumer provider of FTTP on Openreach currently), surely the prices will come down after that date for the current “Ultrafast 2” product?
      3. Given Fibre will be direct into the home/premises, then upgrading later should be a piece of cake right, because it’s just a flick of a switch somewhere for them, versus new lines/equipment, engineers having to dig up roads etc again?
      4. I was under the impression that the kit at nearby exchanges are Huawei. I heard there was an issue with certain equipment in the backend not being “giga-capable”, but the Huawei and Nokia units had been future proofed? I’ve also seen on forums that some people have the “Up to 330” on the Wholesale checker, which changes to 1000, but thus far (admittedly after about 2 months of Fibre being available on a 1 stage install), it has remained at Up to 330/50?

      It would be great if the Openreach FTTP were similar pricing to the Vodafone Gigafast (via Cityfibre) offering. Currently on Vodafone Broadband (VDSL) but unable to upgrade since they don’t do Openreach FTTP (or will they)?! Trying to decide whether to wait till March which seems prudent?

  5. Avatar Jon

    I have just been canvassed by this firm, going door to door on my street. they are looking to deploy in connah’s quay north wales. Have made an enquiry about how soon availability will be

  6. Avatar Michael Williams

    I signed up with these late last year (I’m also in Deeside) they reckon I’ll be connected at 900mb by the end of March.

  7. Avatar Dave

    Full on scam I recon

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