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toob Extend FTTP Broadband to 200k Premises in South England

Thursday, November 19th, 2020 (7:59 am) - Score 2,664

Portsmouth-based UK ISP toob has today announced that their gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based broadband network will be extended to cover a further 200,000 homes and business across Hampshire and Surrey, which will build on their existing deployment in the port city of Southampton.

The new operator, which was setup by a group of Vodafone’s former directors and is being supported by an initial investment of £75m (here), began their first build across 100,000 premises in Southampton last year – before connecting their first customers in December 2019. Since then they’ve made steady progress, despite facing competition from Virgin Media’s rival 1Gbps service.

NOTE: The Southampton deployment alone, originally due to completed by the end of 2021, is known to be costing c.£50m and supported by kit from ADTRAN (TA5000).

Prior to today the company had previously expressed longer-term plans to expand beyond their first city and aspires to cover a total of over 1 million properties across the South of England. The good news is that toob has now “commenced detailed planning” across 10 towns in Hampshire and Surrey.

Some of these locations include Camberley, Farnborough and Guildford, where they will face competition from some existing rivals just like they did in Southampton.

Next Full Fibre Locations
West Byfleet

Build activity on this phase is due to start in Spring 2021, with the first customers then being connected by Summer 2021.

Nick Parbutt, CEO and Founder of toob, said:

“We have always viewed the deployment of fullfibre networks as an economic and social necessity and the current challenges we are facing only reinforces this belief. With the announcement of our next locations, I am delighted that we can bring the benefits of hyperspeed broadband to more families, business and communities.”

Sadly, toob’s announcement makes no mention of how many premises they’ve been able to cover in their first year of deployment, which makes it difficult to judge their progress. But by looking at recent work they appear to have completed somewhere around 10-20% of their initial rollout and will still be in the ramp-up phase of build.

The operator will also need significantly more investment in order to fuel the next phase of their build. We assume they wouldn’t be announcing this plan unless they had already secured a firm commitment from their investors to help cover those costs.

Customers can expect to pay just £25 inc. VAT per month to access toob’s top unlimited 900Mbps+ (average) symmetric speed service on an 18-month minimum contract term (£29 thereafter), which is accompanied by free installation, a wireless router and unlimited usage. The pricing remains incredibly low for a commercial FTTP provider on a Gigabit tier and that is most likely intended to attract strong take-up (i.e. pulling customers away from rivals).

UPDATE 9:08am

toob informs us that they now expect their rollout in Southampton to conclude by mid-2022, which is roughly 6 months later than originally expected.

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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. Mike says:

    Many of those areas already have Virgin, they’re not making it easy for themselves… 🙂

    1. John says:

      Virgin can’t really compete with the low latency of a fibre connection, and 900mbps actual symmetrical speeds, at this price point

    2. Leex says:

      And can’t compete on packet loss (as DOCSIS ISP World wide still refuse to use QOS on there lines just pushing for max speed over reliability so when upstream is congested your only option is to leave and get 20-80mb vdsl)

  2. Barney says:

    It’s a shame that infrastructure providers like this are not given “what in similar” to a Section 106 notice, whereby if they wish to overbuild fibre in an urban area they have a legal commitment to supplying services in less favorable areas in the same district or borough.

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      That sort of thing can work with bigger companies (e.g. arguably Openreach already do this through complicated regulation – though telecoms is not comparable to house building), although for smaller start-ups like toob it would only make a difficult task much more challenging. Right now, nobody wants to discourage new entrants or competition for the big boys.

  3. Cheesemp says:

    They sure seem to be wasting a large amount of advertising budget. I keep seeing adverts regularly but can’t get the service being a few miles outside of Southampton… Also surprised they are aiming to take on VM areas when there are towns just outside Southampton with zero competition. My brother lives in the frimley area and has plenty of 100mb+ options.

    1. Leex says:

      Low latency and no packet loss is the key

      If openreach came to my area with FTTP I would leave soon as my contract ends on virgin and move onto FTTP

      virgin needs to move to real FTTP there currant limited roll out of “FTTP” is FTTPn so instead of going FTTP right to ethernet port it first gets converted to docsis 3.1 coxal to a router then then to normal network (the FTTPn node is moved to the house instead of the cab)

  4. Brian Small says:

    It absolutely baffles me why people criticise new ambitious FTTP ISPs like this when they make announcements of expanding their network. We’re among the worst in Europe for FTTP, if it was left to the incumbents we’d never all get full fibre, some people just moan about everything!

    I also think Toob should be celebrated for clearly not being worried about taking on Virgin as I know many altnets won’t go anywhere near Virgin areas and as the other commenters have said many of their customers are not happy despite them being able to advertise fast speeds.

    Not to mention according to their website toob’s £25 900mb offering blasts Virgin’s pricing out the park!

    Go on Toob some people at least are glad to see what you’re doing!

    1. chris says:

      “if it was left to the incumbents we’d never all get full fibre, some people just moan about everything!”


      i’m in an area covered by this announcement and would definitely give them a try.

      we are at the end of the street and the 4 properties here are on an fttc cab is over 1km away, everyone else is on the cab ~150 meters down the road and enjoy 80/20 fttc. We do get VM and i am on the 200/20 at £27 a month. when it works its great but often i get less than 30 down 4g on Three is often faster both ways.

      the speed number isn’t the whole picture, consistency is often more rewarding than the headline.

  5. Oscar says:

    I live in Southampton and have been eagerly waiting for them to expand into my area.

    Yes, they are building in the same areas Virgin Media cover, but Virgin can’t hope to compete. Virgin’s Gig1 offering costs a whopping £62/month, whereas Toob costs £25/month. Plus, Virgin’s upload speeds are atrocious, whereas Toob’s are equal to the download speed.

    Virgin should consider pricing their broadband below £25/month in Southampton if they hope to attract my interest because they’re selling an inferior product to Toob.

  6. Chris says:

    just seen some planning permissions gone in for Aldershot & Farnborough from toob


    “Siting of a Point of Presence Telecommunications container on a concrete base, together with two equipment cabinets within a compound formed by weld-mesh fencing, to facilitate rollout of Gigabit Full-Fibre High-Speed Broadband”

    exciting times

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