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FibreNation to Begin 1Gbps FTTH Broadband Rollout in Bolton

Monday, March 23rd, 2020 (9:56 am) - Score 1,172

The FibreNation project, which is currently being acquired by Cityfibre from UK ISP TalkTalk for £200m (here), has today confirmed that 100,000+ homes and businesses across the Greater Manchester town of Bolton will be the next to benefit from their roll-out of a new 1Gbps Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband network.

At present FibreNation has already nearly completed their roll-out to around 54,000 premises in the city of York and they recently started work to cover 61,000 premises in Dewsbury (here), not to mention 50,000 premises across Harrogate (here) and 6,000 in Batley (here). The town of Heckmondwike is also set to be connected to their network later this year, while Knaresborough and Ripon remain on their future deployment list.

Suffice to say that so far the operator has been largely focused upon deployments in the Yorkshire region, but they’re now starting to go beyond that and have entered the Greater Manchester area. Bolton is thus set to become the first North-West town to benefit from its full-fibre network, which eventually aims to cover 3 million UK premises.

Work on the new build is set to begin this summer 2020 and will then take three years to complete (i.e. by early 2023).

Paul Crane, FN Head of Engagement and Rollout, said:

“The Greater Manchester area is a very ambitious and thriving area and the Combined Authority set out its plans last year to encourage investment in fibre infrastructure. By bringing full fibre to our first North West location, we are bolstering an already brilliant area in which to both live, work and visit. Having high speed full fibre will bring many benefits to the residents and businesses in the area and is a strong next step in achieving our goal of rolling out to three million homes over the next ten years.

Fibre is the fourth utility we’ve all been waiting for and we’re proud to be at the forefront of its rollout across our first town in the North West, which is also the largest town in the UK.”

Cllr Martyn Cox, Deputy Leader of Bolton Council, said:

“This is unquestionably an exciting period for Bolton. Our ambitious plans for regeneration make Bolton an attractive location for companies to invest in our town and we’re delighted by FibreNation’s significant announcement to invest in our digital infrastructure.”

Currently the only broadband ISPs able to sell services over this network are TalkTalk and Sky Broadband (Ultra Fibre Optic), although that will change once the sale to Cityfibre completes at the end of this month (e.g. eventually Vodafone and others will also gain access). The combined FN and Cityfibre project will then aim to invest £4bn in order to achieve 8 million premises by 2025 or later.

NOTE: Sky may still have a wholesale agreement with FN and some customers in York but they don’t appear to be actively selling to new customers.

We should also point out that Bolton is due to receive an investment boost of £25m from the Government’s Towns Fund, which is intended to be spent upon improvements to both broadband and transport (here).

In terms of competition, the operator’s main rival will be the gigabit-capable cable and fibre network from Virgin Media, which already covers the vast majority of local premises. Openreach (BT) also has some ultrafast broadband coverage in the city but it’s only via their inferior G.fast technology.

Leave a Comment
1 Response
  1. Avatar DaveyO

    I’ve had UFO for 4 years here in York. I ordered sky Q so out of curiosity I asked sky for a price on the package I had (900Mb) was told politely that orders are not being taken and stay with TT. Make of that what you will.

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