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Fibrus Likely to Win Full Fibre Contract for 10 N.Ireland Councils

Monday, July 6th, 2020 (10:48 am) - Score 1,423
fibre optic white cables

Belfast-based UK broadband ISP Fibrus appears as if it could be set to secure a key £15m Full Fibre Northern Ireland Consortium (FFNI) contract, which will construct a new gigabit-capable Dark Fibre or FTTP network to connect around 880 public sector sites across 10 council areas by March 2021.

The project, which was first announced a little over one year ago (here), is part of the UK Government’s Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) programme – Wave 3 (here) – and is being led by the Newry, Mourne and Down District Councils.

NOTE: Ofcom’s Spring 2020 coverage report revealed that N.Ireland has Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) coverage of 41%, which is up sharply from 25% in May 2019.

Like most LFFN schemes the proposal reflects a Public-Sector Anchor Tenancy model, which is primarily focused upon connecting public sector sites to fibre. However, such networks are often later opened-up so that commercial broadband ISPs can invest in them and thus harness the infrastructure to help reach local premises too (homes and businesses).

A number of suppliers were known to have expressed an interest in this contract, such as Fibrus, BT and Virgin Media (Business), among others. Several sources have recently contacted ISPreview to highlight that Fibrus now appears to be the last operator standing (preferred bidder) and are thus almost certain to secure the contract, although this hasn’t been confirmed yet because the project has yet to go through some final checks before it can be approved.

Naturally Fibrus declined to comment when we queried this, but it seems plausible that the final outcome will be known by the end of July or early August 2020. Fibrus are separately bidding on the £165m Project Stratum contract for N.Ireland (here), which is targeting “approximately” 78,500 premises that still lack “superfast broadband” (30Mbps+) in the country.

List of the 10 FFNI Councils

Antrim and Newtownabbey

Fermanagh and Omagh

Ards and North Down

Lisburn and Castlereagh

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon

Mid and East Antrim

Causeway Coast and Glens

Mid Ulster

Newry, Mourne and Down

Derry City and Strabane

Leave a Comment
4 Responses
  1. Avatar Fermanagh says:

    On a somewhat related Northern Ireland topic.

    Is there a search tool that allows me to determine which providers who provide ‘optical’ fibre at an address – everything is called fibre on the sites.
    I have found a potential property that has the fibre ports on the pole nearby, so I searched thinkbroadband.com, and it shows: FTTH/FTTP = NO option available.

    I am a rural homeowner in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland but am planning to move home as the broadband is terrible even though it is also fibre (4Mbit down). The BT USO team say can only buy their data limited and over priced BT Mobile option, and for it work, before I would be considered for the USO. I have tried all 4G providers in this area with externa antenna + router, and mostly get around 2Mbit.

    I search uswitch, etc (and other providers directly), they only show EE up to 145Mbit, with everything else (including BT) only go up to 60Mbit.
    If I search BT itself and it says I can get up to 455Mbit guarantee “You’re in our Full Fibre network area so you can get our next generation fibre.”
    I dont trust or respect BT, and thought that Openreach makes the network and should make the services available to all providers, so ideally I would like a different provider.

    1. Avatar Danny says:

      No not all providers currently harness BT’s FTTP network as of yet so they won’t show as they don’t offer that service whereas BT do aswell as talk talk and sky I believe but they need to be in the cabinet to do so.

    2. Avatar NGA for all says:

      Farmanagh, you wish to call BT with the DP number and get them update their database. It is not unknown for them to install but the databases are not updated, making the placing of an order difficult.

    3. Avatar Andrew Ferguson says:

      It is possible your bit of fttp has not been spotted, so contact andrew at thinkbroadband dot com with postcode.

      On things uswitch they are very inaccurate and claim all sorts of services are available in places they are not

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