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New UK ISP YouFibre Start FTTP Broadband Rollout in Durham

Saturday, June 20th, 2020 (8:09 am) - Score 3,899
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We thought we’d found them all, but we thought wrong. Another full fibre broadband ISP has surface today called YouFibre, which appears to be deploying their first gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network across the small town of Peterlee in County Durham (England).

At present we know very little about the ISP itself, although they have a fairly professional looking marketing campaign and website established. The company itself was only incorporated in December 2019 and has gone from that to the stage of physical deployment very quickly, which suggests that they must already have some reasonable funding in the tank.

According to Companies House, the Director is Jeremy Chelot, which may or may not be the same person who was formerly the CEO of London’s FTTP focused ISP CommunityFibre (we’re checking as CF’s ex-CEO doesn’t mention YouFibre in his profile). Interestingly YouFibre’s Jeremy Chelot is also the Director of another recent full fibre start-up, Netomnia (here). Somebody has been very.. busy.

Upon closer inspection we note that the operator deploying around the centre of Peterlee is Netomnia, which is despite the service itself being sold to consumers and businesses by YouFibre (i.e. we think one company does the engineering, while the other sells the service).

YouFibre Statement

YouFibre is a different kind of Internet. We are bringing superfast internet to homes and businesses across the UK.

We have identified areas with poor or no Internet connection, and have installed Superfast Fibre, from 50Mbps to 1000Mbps speeds.

Peterlee is the first area we have installed our Superfast Fibre and our sales team will be in the area soon.

The town of Peterlee is an interesting one since, until recently, it mostly lacked any gigabit-capable broadband networks. But Openreach (BT) has deployed a tiny pocket of hybrid fibre G.fast technology (330Mbps max) and more recently Virgin Media appear to have started building up from the south side of the town. Suffice to say that YouFibre will have a bit of competition to contend with.

In terms of service, prices start from £20 per month for an unlimited 50Mbps (symmetric speed) service and go up to just £30 (discounted from £50) for their top 900Mbps+ tier. You can add a VoIP phone service for an extra £3 to that or a WiFi mesh system for an extra £7 (i.e. “we’ll guarantee at least 10Mbps WiFi in every room of your home, or we will give you your money back“).

A 12 month contract applies (optional 30 day term at extra cost) to all this, but there’s no mention of installation charges. Credits to one of our readers, Paul, for helping us to spot this one.

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27 Responses
  1. Avatar Antwan says:

    That’s nice! At last you’ll be able to remote work from Durham in decent conditions. Another good reason to breach the lockdown to go there!

    1. Avatar ianh says:

      Most of durham and county durham have FTTC with decent speeds…

    2. Avatar 河岸 says:

      FTTC speeds are awful in 2020

      anything under 100 is garbage tier.

  2. Avatar Tim says:

    So many companies jumping on the PIA bandwagon. It’s good to see but it is also worrying. In a few years time there will be massive consolidation as someone buys up all these “start-ups”. Or they will fail and go into administration as Openreach/VM simply overbuild and offer cheaper wholesale FTTP. It’s a repeating cycle and what happened in the early days as WISP’s built their networks to then be de-valued overnight by the introduction of ADSL MAX and wild claims that it fixed everything. Then FTTC came and destroyed it again for WISP’s in areas far from exchanges, i.e. Kings Hill.

    1. Avatar A_Builder says:

      Undoubtedly some of them will go bust.

      Undoubtedly others will be bought out.

      However, that is the price you pay for having an open competitive market.

      I don’t see OR/VM killing the Alt Nets on cost or service profiles. The Alt Nets, mostly, offer symmetry and are, mostly, quite a bit cheaper for 330 mb/s upwards tiers. AND VM isn’t all FTTP and has nowhere close to OR’s upstream efforts never mind the symmetrical offerings.

      There aware clear differentiators and it is down now to good marketing to bring the positives out.

    2. Avatar Meadmodj says:

      They obviously can see a business return that we can’t. There are so many combining FTTP/ISP it has to be there.

      If they can get in quick, use the window before OR or other, keep their prices competitive and gain loyalty there is no reason why they shouldn’t remain competitive against the big boys for some time. This is fixed broadband with the reliability and consistency of FTTP so wouldn’t necessary be the same as the WISPS. The biggest threat is the volume of over promising advertising from the big ISPs.

      But you are right there is risk here if OR or other Altnets turn up within their projected plan.

    3. Avatar Jake4 says:

      I doubt any provider using Openreach will sell a 1gbps connection for £30 or less within the next 5 years

    4. Avatar Meadmodj says:

      @Jake4. £30/m is introductory and their is no guarantee their £50 product will not rise going forward. Average speeds based on being achievable by 50% of users. But it does give a meaningful comparison currently charged by others.

    5. Avatar AnotherTim says:

      In the electricity/gas market, if a supplier goes bust Ofgem appoints some other supplier to take over the customers with no interruption in supply. I’m guessing there is no such arrangement for broadband?
      So if an Altnet goes bust and there is no other ISP interested in buying their assets, some customers could end up without superfast broadband available for several years – until some other Altnet builds in their area.

    6. Avatar Roger_Gooner says:

      It’s not you or me who has to worry, it’s the investors who have everything to lose as this is private capital that is funding this development. If YouFibre gets into trouble the chances are that some other altnet will buy them out.

      I don’t see OR or VM doing a “simple overbuild” as overbuilding can be a costly exercise which is financially warranted only if the returns are worthwhile.

    7. Avatar AnotherTim says:

      Actually anyone with a company or private pension should probably worry – that’s where a lot of the investment has come from.
      I personally don’t have to worry about losing superfast broadband as it hasn’t arrived yet (maybe in another couple of years?), but I do have money in a pension fund.

  3. Avatar JP says:

    I like seeing these small FTTP companies coming to light, however time will tell as has been said above as too what comes of them,

    My hope would be that although that might get brought up, it would create larger availability to currently small-med business providers and raise competition to the big cats.

    1. Avatar A_Builder says:

      That is more or less how I see it too.

      The there will be a third/fourth player in market created by consolidating some of the Alt Nets.

      Given that a fair number of the Alt Nets are under common ownership of the big pension funds it is not a far fetched thought – you could well see IBOs or MBOs being the order of the day. The main advantage is the marketing angle if you can get a well(ish) known brand.

      There is a decent segment of the market that won’t touch VM for **perceived** quality/reliability issues and similarly don’t have too much time for BT/OR. All you need is a bit more of a cuddly brand – neither BT/OR or VM are perceived as being very ‘nice’ companies to deal with.

  4. Avatar qqq says:

    As odd as this may sound, I believe these new ISPs are starting out for the sole purpose of trying to entice OR/VM to purchase them at some point.

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Openreach are highly unlikely to scoop any altnets, although VM might if they go the wholesale route at some point. I expect you’ll see most of the consolidation happening among altnet providers as they try to grow into more competitive entities (e.g. Cityfibre’s purchase of FibreNation).

  5. Avatar Liam says:

    I’ve been talking to their customer support and have happened to be talking to Chelot himself.

    I’ve done my thorough investigation in Chelot’s involvement with the company and his ties to Netomnia and CommunityFibre, and have asked when it would be possible for their company to bring over to Wingate/Peterlee, and have been told hopefully by July 2020 due to their infrastructure having problems getting across the A19.

    Also: how can you provide YouFibre/Netomnia is legitimate? I really want the internet, but when talking to Chelot he’s been saying that the hardware to put the infrastructure would cost the company >£300, but if you’re in a no-contract deal, it only costs the consumer ~£50+installation fees (~£30). So what’s stopping the consumer from going with a no-contract, then going with a different supplier? YouFibre would lose a lot of money by then. Unless Netomnia has its own unique infrastructure that is only usable by Netomnia themselves.

    Please forgive me as I am not completely aware of networking.

    1. Avatar A_Builder says:

      You have to give Chelot some kudos for having the experience of building the Community Fibre network which is not a small one. It is actually there and it actually works.

      Our warehouse/logistics hub has a CF connection and it is pretty robust for not a lot of money.

      I agree I would be wary of some of the no_tangible_experience_wonders that decide to build an FTTP network overnight but you do have someone here who has delivered previously at scale. And importantly knows what the general shape of the numbers is for this kind of thing.

  6. Avatar Lee Peters says:

    Of all the arse end places in the UK, Peterlee? Wow. I lived there as a child it was bad enough 45 years ago!

    1. Avatar Stewart says:

      It’s still the same

  7. Avatar Jonathan says:

    It’ll be interesting to see where they will expand to. Here’s hoping for Scarborough.

  8. Avatar Charles Kerr says:

    Mark, have you seen the new ISP Cuckoo Internet?

    1. Avatar Fabrizio says:

      I’ve actually told them through their facebook page to make themselves known to ISPreview and Thinkbroadband, funnily enough 😀

    2. Avatar Marek says:

      What is that company supposed to do? They seem to have 4 C-level people that don’t have any network, ISP experience? Are they going to use Openreach network without any infrastructure of their own?

    3. Avatar Roger_Gooner says:

      Their supplied router is the DWA0120, it’s for DSL broadband isn’t it?

  9. Avatar Alex (Cuckoo CEO) says:

    Hi Marek!

    No network experience so we’re trying to build everything from first principles (though a few of us worked on some infra policy in the Treasury). Also, we have a strong advisory team . And ISPReview is a real help!

    Cheers,
    Alex

  10. Avatar Daniel says:

    YouFibre recently rolled out to my area and I was so tempted to sign up even though I’m only 2 month into my BT contract! However after looking further they use CGNAT with no option to purchase a static IP on a monthly basis 🙁

    1. Avatar Bing says:

      Your lucky, i’ve been promised multiple times my connection would go live from July.The date of connection comes and goes, and nothing! Then another promise is made and i wait, and Nothing! mid September was the latest promise. I have gone with a competitor, even though it is a town that has had cable ducts since it was built, (remember redifusion?)It is still so slow. 8-10 Mb/s. I could get a reliable 70+ Mb/s living out in the sticks and now in a built up area i get 8Mb/s. You Fibre made far too many promises they’re still not able to make good on.
      I have registered my interest and will make the switch as i really hope they do well in the future.

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