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ISP Fibrus Commit £21m to Rollout FTTP Broadband in Mid Ulster

Tuesday, July 21st, 2020 (7:32 am) - Score 961
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Belfast-based UK ISP Fibrus, which is currently deploying a new “gigabit-capable” Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband network in Northern Ireland and was recently gobbled up by Infracapital, has announced that they’ve committed £21m to extend their network into parts of Mid Ulster.

At present most of the operator’s initial deployments have been in County Down and they were working towards an initial coverage target of around 15,000 premises by mid-2020 (we’re not yet sure if that was achieved). But Fibrus has also had a longer term plan to cover 145,000 premises by around 2024 (here) and they recently committed to help ensure that 100% of homes in Northern Ireland can access such services by the end of 2025 (here).

NOTE: At present around 48% of N.Ireland can access a gigabit-capable “full fibre” network (here) and commercial deployments alone (Fibrus, Openreach, Virgin Media etc.) may take this to c.88%.

Suffice to say that it was only a matter of time before they began building outside County Down and the neighbouring region of Mid Ulster makes for a logical step. The first areas to benefit from this will be Maghera and Magherafelt, which sees Fibrus continue to focus on smaller towns.

We should point out that the latest commitment of £21m forms part of the operator’s earlier strategy to invest a total of £85m+ on their FTTP deployment.

Dominic Kearns, CEO of Fibrus, said:

“We are delighted to be bringing our hyperfast broadband services to Mid Ulster, providing families and businesses with access to revolutionary full-fibre broadband. Our total investment of £21million will be one of the largest investment packages in new infrastructure that Mid Ulster has had in the last 20 years.

This is something that home and business owners in Maghera and Magherafelt have not been able to access before and it is important now more than ever.”

Elsewhere the ISP has also been linked to interest in the state aid supported Project Stratum contract (here), which has committed £165m of state aid (mostly funded by the UK Government) to help extend “superfast broadband” (30Mbps+) to an additional 78,500 premises across NI. A final decision on that (Fibrus and Openreach are the only remaining bidders) is expected around September 2020.

Prices start from £39.99 per month (currently discounted to £19.99 for the first 12 months of a 24 month term) for an unlimited 100Mbps package with a router and free installation (it’s only free with a government gigabit voucher), which rises to £84.99 per month (discounted to £49.99) for their top 900Mbps+ tier.

Meanwhile Openreach’s on-going commercial deployment of FTTP in N.Ireland recently extended coverage to 360,000 premises (up by 100,000 since January 2020 alone) and aims to reach 525,000 premises (60% coverage) by March 2021, although they intend to go further (here).

Leave a Comment
1 Response
  1. Avatar Fermanagh says:

    The Openreach vans are being rerouted to Mid Ulster as we speak.
    I assume those with sub 10Mbit will also be ignored by Fibrus, until the Project Stratum money is dished out?
    The USO (aka Useless …. Offering) of unreliable and data limited 4G which makes up 99.999% Ofcom/BT USO is still there though.

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