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150,000 Premises in Wales to Get FTTP Broadband Under New Deal

Wednesday, October 14th, 2020 (12:01 am) - Score 1,944
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Cardiff-based UK ISP Spectrum Internet, which earlier this year revealed that they hoped to build a new 1Gbps Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network to 150,000 homes and businesses across South Wales (here), has today announced that they’ve secured enough investment from Infracapital to get started.

The project, which is expected to result in the creation of a further 140 jobs, will see Infracapital, the infrastructure investment arm of M&G Plc, provide cornerstone funding to help Spectrum Internet begin their deployment across parts of South Wales. The plan is to complete this initial build by around the end of 2025.

NOTE: Infracapital also owns or has stakes in Gigaclear, SSE Enterprise Telecoms, Fibrus and WightFibre etc.

Spectrum Internet have in fact dabbled with building their own “full fibre” network(s) before in a few specific locations across South West England (here) and Wales (here), although they also work alongside Openreach (BT) to sell FTTP into other areas too. But suffice to say that they have plenty of experience.

The new project will also seek to harness some of the Welsh Government’s recent trunk road concession (i.e. giving access to 650km of road network across South Wales and existing government duct where available) to help facilitate their deployment. Plus we wouldn’t be surprised if they made some use of the gigabit voucher scheme, although this hasn’t been confirmed.

Giles Phelps, Spectrum’s Founder, said:

“Spectrum is well known in Wales as a broadband innovator. We already provide high-quality broadband to underserved communities and start-up businesses. As we grow, we are committed to working closely with the communities we serve and to provide customers with an even better service from our local team.

With Infracapital’s support we aim to be Wales’ biggest and best homegrown broadband service provider, and a key contributor to helping shape the future Welsh economy.”

Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, said:

“It’s great to see this expansion in fibre broadband, which comes at no cost to the public purse. Earlier this year I announced an innovative project, which allows Net Support UK – part of the Spectrum group – to access existing ducts and build new ones along the south Wales trunk roads.

This means Spectrum can make use of a Welsh Government-owned asset to improve the resilience of the fibre network in the area. When I made the original announcement we would not have known how many of us would now be working from home where a reliable broadband connection is vital. This development is now even more timely and welcome.”

The build itself is currently set to start in the “coming months” and the first to benefit will include various “towns and villages” in parts of Monmouthshire, the Vale of Glamorgan and Pembrokeshire, with plans to reach other communities across south Wales within the next 3-5 years. We hope to get details of the exact roll-out plan in the very near future.

We should add that the 150,000 premises being targeted are described as being part of an “initial” deployment plan, which indicates that if all goes well then we could see a much bigger expansion. All told, Spectrum Internet’s first deployment phase is said to involve an investment of around £200m.

Cameron Barney acted as financial advisor to Spectrum in the fundraising, with Cardiff’s Loosemores providing legal advice.

Leave a Comment
4 Responses
  1. Avatar freddie says:

    God sake put some stuff in Newport Mun! – Virgin is crap – G.fast is slow and nothing else around!

  2. Avatar Robin Hood says:

    It’s 19:08 and there’s still no negative comments? Wow this must be good news, maybe not for Openreach though…

  3. Avatar Adrian says:

    About time we had some Altnet activity in Wales. Openreach have apparently built FTTP in our area but I have been unable to order it due to ‘Capacity’ issues.

    So please overbuild Openreach as the service hasn’t improved, just their ability to make more promises it seems.

  4. Avatar FTTP 4 SouthWestWales says:

    Indeed, it’s good news to see altnets making some plays in South Wales Region, its about time too!
    Also, let’s hope they decide to come west of Swansea about 15-20 miles. #FTTP4ALL

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