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Quickline Target Faster Broadband for West Yorkshire and York

Tuesday, September 8th, 2020 (1:51 pm) - Score 622
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UK ISP Quickline, which is part of Bigblu group, has today secured a new £9.11 million contract that will see them deploy “superfast” (30Mbps+) and “ultrafast” (100Mbps+) capable fixed wireless and Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based broadband services to 6,700 extra premises across rural West Yorkshire and York.

The contract, which includes coverage for 1,700 businesses and 5,000 homes, was awarded to Quickline via a competitive tender from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA). The framework for all this follows the model set out by the Building Digital UK (BDUK) based Superfast Broadband programme.

Apparently, the roll-out itself will take 2 years to complete (i.e. by the end of 2022) and “most” premises can expected to receive download speeds of 100Mbps. However, Bigblu hasn’t revealed precisely how many of these are to benefit from a “full fibre” connection and instead states that “a number of premises” will receive it, which suggests that FTTP may be in the minority for this deployment.

The contract itself provides for a total investment of £9.11m in both fibre and fixed wireless networks. This includes a subsidy of £7.646m, with £6.898m funded from DEFRA (via the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development) and £748,000 from the Combined Authority. Quickline will also contribute £1.464m of investment to support the roll-out.

Steve Jagger, CEO of Quickline, said:

“We’re excited to be working with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and City of York to deliver high speed internet to local, hard to reach areas. We understand the challenges of delivering rural broadband services that is why we pride ourselves on delivering flexible, hybrid innovative solutions.”

Andrew Walwyn, CEO of Bigblu broadband, added:

“We believe that this is the first of a number of potential contract wins for Quickline under BDUK’s Superfast broadband programme. This win emphasises the growth potential within the Group that management highlighted when it announced the disposal of Bigblu’s UK and European Satellite Broadband Operations.

We are delighted that Quickline has secured this contract – with last year’s £12m funding affording it the flexibility for it to tender for capital intensive contracts as it targets a customer base of approximately 30,000 subscribers over the next three years.

Importantly, there are a number of further opportunities and live tenders, that had been delayed by Brexit and COVID-19, which if converted will provide further significant scale and value to the business. We expect that BBB will benefit from Quickline’s increased valuation, revenues and profitability as its accelerated growth strategy is successfully implemented.”

Quickline added that they expect to “see strong take-up of broadband services from these previously under-served areas” and as a result of that they also hope to achieve “at least its targeted return on capital of c.15% over the life of the contract.”

The new deal comes a year after the provider secured an additional investment of £12m (here) to help them roll-out a new unlimited “ultrafast broadband” (100Mbps+) capable network to 30,000 premises across the north of the United Kingdom.

In February 2020 Quickline also became the lead on one of the Government’s new Rural Connected Communities (RCC) project’s (here), which aims to build small mobile phone networks in areas that have no mobile coverage. This is on top of their participation in last year’s 5G Rural Integrated Testbed pilot (here).

Like many ISP’s they’re also a government approved supplier under the Rural Gigabit Connectivity Programme, which enables them to secure vouchers worth up to £3,500 per premises to fund the cost of providing gigabit-capable broadband in rural communities.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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11 Responses
  1. Avatar Matthew says:

    Kind of surprised the City of York requires such a contract.

    1. Avatar Tempest3K says:

      The City of York area does actually include a number of surrounding villages – suspect a few of these are the target of this project

  2. Avatar Danny says:

    Wakefield seems to get forgotten by the FTTP roll-out, We was on the City fibre list however seemed to of been forgotten for the commercial roll out for homes and BT don’t have us on major roll out plans. We desperately need an Alt-net to step in and fill in the major gap in the market.

    1. Avatar John says:

      I live in york a street near city centre only fibre I can get is bt who are a rip of so stick to basic sky broadband

    2. Avatar Danny says:

      We have virgin in certain areas but my father can get virgin however BT offer a max speed of 1mbps download so he’s stuck with one company and my house the virgin media comes down my street but stops at the end of my cul de sac and we are furthest away from the BT exchange on aluminium cable so we grt 5mbps download and no FTTP in Wakefield apart from BT covering the villages not the main urban areas and Wakefield is one of the slower cities for broadband according to a recent government study yet no plans by anyone to build a fttp network and there would be little to no overbuild so it makes no sense. I thought York had the UFO network been built?

    3. Avatar Tempest3K says:

      Cityfibre building UFO doesn’t mean you’ll get it even when they come to your area – they left half my street in Huntington (including me) out of their rollout and fibred right around us! No ultrafast for us for a decade or two no doubt…..

    4. Avatar Danny says:

      Yeah but just to have them building in the city would be nice however it seems as though Wakefield is been left and the surrounding cities are well on their way especially Leeds

    5. Avatar CarlT says:

      Indeed. The only stuff in Wakefield is new build and a single FTTP cluster for a group of businesses.

      A little odd. The resources are evidently tied up deploying elsewhere in West Yorkshire along with South Yorkshire.

  3. Avatar David says:

    Minor correction at the end. Nobody gets “approved” under the Rural Gigabit Voucher Scheme. Quickline are registered under that scheme, along with hundreds of other companies.

    1. Avatar John says:

      Yer York has ufo only in certain eareas but only in the posh areas if you live in a flat you carnt get it lol

    2. Avatar Yorkiebar99 says:

      @John I wouldn’t call Acomb Clifton and Tang Hall posh areas would you ? And Yes UFO is available in flats.

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