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ISP Lothian Broadband Plans FTTP Rollout to 50,000 Premises

Monday, January 18th, 2021 (4:37 pm) - Score 1,920

Fixed wireless and full fibre ISP Lothian Broadband, which covers parts of East Lothian and Mid Lothian in rural Scotland, has today announced that they’re planning to accelerate growth through a “large-scale investment in fibre infrastructure” by deploying FTTP to 50,000 homes in communities where they already have a presence.

Until recently the provider was largely still focused on delivering Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) based internet connectivity services to local homes and businesses within their patch, but last year saw them branch out to extend their fledgling deployment of an ultrafast Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network in the East Lothian village of Gifford (here).

NOTE: Lothian Broadband‘s customer base grew by 40% last year (partly due to an acquisition – here) and they now connect 1,800 homes.

As a result, the company’s current “network footprint” extends to 29,000 premises passed in the Lothians and Highlands of Scotland, but most of those have been reached via their FWA network. However, like a lot of other alternative networks (altnets), they’re now increasingly moving to adopt more of a “full fibre” focus.

In keeping with that the ISP has just announced that they intend to target the “fibre gap” in Scotland’s small towns, rural and semi-rural communities, which if all goes to plan will initially see their FTTP network being extended to reach 50,000 homes in communities “where the company already has a presence“.

In preparation for this next phase of growth and after 5-years of guiding the company, founding Chairman Patrick Flockhart is stepping down to be replaced by existing non-executive Director Kevin Hague. Meanwhile Scott Coates will also join the board as a non-executive Director, replacing another of the founding directors, David Walls.

Kevin Hague, Incoming Chairman, said:

“Lothian Broadband has a unique opportunity to target Scotland’s fibre gap with high quality infrastructure bringing much needed connectivity to communities across Scotland. I’m hugely grateful to Patrick for the opportunity to guide Lothian Broadband through what promises to be an exciting phase of the company’s development.

Delivering rapid growth in any business is a challenge, particularly when it comes to managing the culture of the organisation, ensuring systems and processes are scalable and protecting the integrity of the brand. Knowing the quality and ambition of the management team we already have in place, I am confident that Lothian Broadband is well positioned to meet these challenges while taking advantage of the large market opportunity we see before us.”

Sadly, the provider hasn’t yet revealed how much investment they’ve been able to put behind this new rollout plan or how long it will take to complete, but hopefully we’ll get some more details on that in the next few months.

Meanwhile customers of their unlimited rural FTTP network tend to pay from £50 per month for a 100Mbps (symmetric speed) service on an 18-month term, which goes up to £100 if you want 1Gbps. Admittedly that’s not cheap, but such costs are hardly surprising when you consider the high cost of deploying into remote rural communities.

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7 Responses
  1. Avatar James™ says:

    Hopefully they will roll across to West Lothian soon.

  2. Avatar Mark says:

    I live in Dalkeith in Midlothian and as far as I’m aware pretty much the whole town is covered by either BT FTTP or Virgin. It’s also one of the biggest towns in Midlothian so will be interesting to see if they deploy anything there.

    1. Avatar John says:

      Only the new builds around Woodburn/Kippielaw have OpenReach FTTP and Virgin skipped those properties.

      Virgin are currently finishing Mayfield and have Newtongrange marked to do next.

      There’s no OpenReach FTTP in Dalkeith town centre or Woodburn/Mayfield, excluding the new builds.

      The only bit that has both Virgin and OpenReach FTTP so far is the Old School development new houses in Mayfield (the old Langlaw Primary).

      OpenReach announced Midlothian a few months ago to get FTTP but apart from retro new build work I’ve seen nothing.

      I can’t see Lothian Broadband covering Dalkeith.
      They mainly do rural areas.
      They’ll probably do the likes of Pathhead. They already cover Humbie and surrounding areas with FWA.

    2. Avatar John says:

      Dalkeith town centre has patchy Virgin coverage with a few streets at the South side of the town covered.

      The majority of the surrounding area does indeed now have Virgin or OR FTTP, or is due to be covered soon by 1 or both operators.

      It’s a huge change from just 18 months ago when there was only a tiny FTTP footprint near the Dalkeith High School Campus.

      Much of Dalkeith and the surrounding area should be able to sustain 2, maybe 3 separate networks.

      Might be a bit greedy of me but I’d rather any 3rd fibre operator was a bit cheaper, like CityFibre.

      Looking a bit more I think Lothian Broadband might do a lot more down in the Gifford direction.
      Their offices are in Haddington which is just along the road from their FTTP in Gifford.
      They could go West towards Pencaitland and Ormiston or in the other direction towards East Linton.

      Great to see a local business thriving in uncertain times.

    3. Avatar Mark says:

      I was lucky enough to get BT FTTP (new kippielaw estate) so am happy enough.

    4. Avatar Declan M says:

      All of Woodburn is covered by the new schemes at the top and at the campus as they are covered by BT FTTP. I highly doubt Lothian broadband will cover Dalkeith anyway I think they will concentrate on East Lothian towns like Haddington and villages like Tranent and humble etc.

    5. Avatar Mark says:

      I watched Virgin roll out FTTP to the old kippielaw Estate and all of woodburn and couldn’t believe they were skipping my Estate, when I asked one of the engineers why this was he told me bt were infilling with fttp.

      I agree with you that it would be a strange decision to deploy in Dalkeith given 2 of the big boys already being there.

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