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Community Fibre Offer 1yr Free Broadband to Vulnerable Londoners

Friday, January 15th, 2021 (1:08 pm) - Score 1,680

London broadband ISP CommunityFibre, which is busy deploying a 3Gbps Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network to cover a good chunk of the UK’s capital city, has announced that they will provide 12 months of free “full fibre” broadband to “vulnerable households” in order to ensure children’s education doesn’t suffer.

Eligible homes can expect to receive CF’s entry-level unlimited 50Mbps package and, after the free broadband period ends, recipients can either choose to become CommunityFibre customers or cancel the service (note: you’ll need to return the router too). The move is a significant one for a smaller provider to make and arguably puts some bigger ISPs to shame.

However, at present CF’s network coverage is quite limited (over 100,000 premises – mostly large apartment blocks), although they’re currently working to cover 1 million homes and businesses with their gigabit speed network by the end of 2023 – this is being supported by around £500m of private investment (here).

Graeme Oxby, CEO of Community Fibre, said:

“We already provide homes in 18 London boroughs with fibre connectivity and many of these will be eligible to take advantage of this offer if they are classified as vulnerable by their landlords or local councils. Our mission is to bring better broadband to London communities and we always look for opportunities to give back to those we serve. It is critical to enable those who are homeschooling but struggling with slow connections or no connection to benefit from fast, reliable full-fibre broadband to help as many children as possible to continue their education and prepare their future.”

The provider added that they’ve partnered with 30 of the largest landlords in London (including local authorities and housing associations) to identify the vulnerable households eligible for its offer, although it’s unclear how such people will be able to apply for it (we’ve asked and will update later).

UPDATE 1:41pm

CF said London households will be able to apply for the free broadband through their landlords (assuming your landlord has CF’s infrastructure installed).

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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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16 Responses
  1. Sensilble Joe says:

    How can they afford this. Who ultimately is paying for it.
    From my knowledge and experience of `Vulnerable households` I can tell you that every person on benefits will try and get this. That’s a lot of people. I can tell you for sure. I used to work for the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) and I can assure you that people on benefits have a completely different outlook on life, money and materialist items.
    A lot of people are on benefits. Most don’t even tell you as they are too ashamed of receiving help and then there are the professional benefit cheats we all hear about in the Daily Mail. They will try and scam their way to get something for free, and there are a a lot of them.
    The company will be bust within the first few months if the tax payer isn’t involved.

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      You shouldn’t generalise like that, it’s insulting and has no place in these comments. At some point in life everybody will have lost a job and many may have needed such support. Right now, with COVID-19 taking lives and jobs, a lot of working people are finding themselves out of employment and with few options available to go back into it.

    2. Sensible Joe says:

      I’ve heard it all before. Blah blah blah. Covid-19 blah blah. The tax payers like me will pay for this for years to come. I was unemployed once for a period of 6 months and nobody helped me. It’s survival of the fittest.
      Get your head out of the sand and spend more than a minute looking at the state of this country for what it really is instead of believing everything you see on TV and on social media.
      It’s not insulting it’s the truth. Except it.
      Furlough is paying the bills. Because people don’t have to travel they are saving money. Those that own businesses are getting grants from the Government and aren’t paying rent and / or business tax. Nobody is hard done by at the moment. People on furlough are in the worst case the same as they where when they were working. Most are better off as they don’t have the added expensive of going to work.
      Those people out of work due to Covid-19 can get other jobs. Supermarkets are recruiting massively, the NHS is crying out for anybody at present and care homes are short staffed, but no, out of work people don’t want to do the difficult jobs. They want an easy life doing nothing and getting money for it.
      I work on the front line of the NHS at the bottom pay rung and I enjoy my job and work hard and pick up extra shifts. I worked all of Christmas and New Year, virtually saved the A&E department due to me covering all the shifts. I didn’t have the luxury of seeing my parents on Christmas day because I work a 12 hour shift. I also worked Boxing day and nights the whole of the following week including New Years Eve.
      Covid-19 is only taking the lives of very elderly people with serious underlying medical problems. Average age of a person who has or has had covid-19 within 28 days is 82 years old. 82. Not kids, not teens, not working age people but very elderly people who I must stress are already very unwell and would have died anyway. Covis-19 has just moved them to the grave quicker. Hospitals are full as they are every year. No mention of winter flu crisis is there.
      Those that are unemployed are getting money from the government. If it’s not enough then they need financial guidance not an endless stream of freebies.
      They should be taught to manage they own affairs correctly.
      You and everyone else spouting the same propaganda need to wake up and see what’s really gong on. I did and I am much better for it, financially, mentally, physically, socially and spiritually. My life got better when I realised it was me that need to help me. I realised nobody is going to help me. I did something about it and have been rewarded for it financially, mentally, physically, socially and spiritually. I’m not to blame for this and I won’t pay the price for it either.

    3. Mark Jackson says:

      “I was unemployed once for a period of 6 months and nobody helped me”

      You could have applied: https://www.gov.uk/jobseekers-allowance

      The rest was tl:dr.

    4. Sensible Joe says:

      I did apply for JSA. I survived on it. My point being that I looked very hard for a job and got one through hard work not freebies.
      Not everyone on benefits is a typical Daily Mail headline. Mypoint was, how is the model sustainable if it’s free. They is no such thing as free. Someone will be paying for it eventfully. Taxpayers and / or future customers.
      They are plenty of good deals around. Once you give someone something for free it becomes very hard to then charge them for it later on.
      I hope I have made my point clear. No offence.

    5. Sensibile Joe says:

      One final point. Don’t insult me, TL:DR. My point exactly. Didn’t read it.
      Maybe you should have.

    6. Mark Jackson says:

      I’ve seen the rants before, many times and in many places, but I’ve also lived life just like everybody else and experienced both sides of the coin (enough to know that the generalisations in your original post should not be applied to everybody – remember, you’ve been on benefits too). These days there’s more to life than reading those same old rants again ;).

    7. John says:

      Joe you my friend you are an idiot.
      Not hard to guess your political persuasion.

      You can’t even stand seeing a private company giving vunerable people something free, out their own pocket.

      Your precious tax money doesn’t touch this. It doesn’t affect you in anyway.
      Yet you are offended.
      That says a lot about you Joe.

      Buy a mirror and take a look at yourself.

    8. Gd says:

      I agree with you. I am on benefits I get as much as I need to survive. There’s people always telling me ‘claim this allowance.’ I tell them you don’t need it. They say ‘you should because your entitled to it.’
      People are getting more support they need. I thought it was bad under Labour but under the Tories it’s even worse.

    9. Randy says:

      John that’s not fair. Your generalising too.

      I support the conservative party, but I don’t whinge about people getting benefits or getting just a little something to help them out. I’ve never been on benefits ever, I lost a job once and JSA refused me, they said I had to wait 12 weeks to sign on, and after 2 months I got another job.

      You can’t tar us all with the same brush. You’re not better than anyone else because you vote Labour. We had a pretty bad Labour government under Blair and Brown too remember?

    10. 125us says:

      Most people in receipt of benefits are in work. If you really worked for the DWP you would know this. Blame employers who don’t pay enough for people to live in.

      Everyone who earns below the break even threshold of about £30k is supported by the state.

  2. A_Builder says:

    CF cover a lot of social & ex social housing.

    I suspect this is access to a very low tier.

    But above all else it is a customer acquisition strategy as people tend to stay in this Type of housing long term. So this is good low level revenue from existing installed plant. My guess is this is to prize people alway from low tier FTTC or ADSL to full fibre and those that can will upgrade.

    The cost of providing data for a 30 Mb/s connection is piffling.

    Coming back at the comment above – people on benefits come in all shapes and sizes as well as needs and resources. In this messy crisis that we are all in, like it or not, a lot of people need support and safety nets. A lot of people have lost jobs or are in fear of loosing jobs out of no fault of their own. For learning as well as applying for jobs or indeed entertainment during lockdown therefore this could be a lifeline for some. Sometimes means testing things is far more bother then it is worth,

    1. 125us says:

      Too many people are outraged by anyone helping anyone who isn’t them. We heard at length from the right wing how we should cut foreign aid and crack down on asylum so that we can ‘look after our own’ but those same people then become angry when we do. The only people they deem worthy of any help at all are themselves.

    2. 125us says:

      Telcos of all shapes and sizes have gone to great lengths to help the nation weather this storm and help trye ost vulnerable where they can, yet all we hear are people who don’t need that help whining about it being offered to people who do. Is this the nation we’ve become? It’s no sin or moral failing to be poor.

  3. Philip Virgo says:

    This is a commercially viable and sensible, time limited introductory offer for those in blocks that have already been connected. It overcomes the problem of getting take up from those who prefer to spend what little they have on a pay as you go mobile.

  4. Andria says:

    Presumably have to get current provider to go first in order to set new router and electrical wires up?

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