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ISP Lightspeed Broadband in £300m UK FTTP Broadband Rollout

Thursday, February 18th, 2021 (11:00 am) - Score 10,704
fibre optic cables flowing down 2020

A new UK ISP called Lightspeed Broadband has emerged with a plan to invest £300m in order to deploy their new 1Gbps Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network, starting in towns across the East of England, to cover 100,000 homes by end of 2022 – followed by an ambition to reach 1 million by 2025.

The new provider isn’t just your typical start-up either as they’ve managed to secure backing from an international investment consortium, including AtmosClear Investments and Kompass Kapital, who focus on infrastructure projects. The deal includes an initial £55 million investment, albeit with the “opportunity” to raise this up to £300 million as work progresses.

In short, the first aim of covering 100,000 homes by the end of 2022 is already described as being “fully funded,” which is an impressive start for such a new player. But admittedly they are being managed by a team with plenty of experience in the telecoms sector (many are former BT and TalkTalk figures), including CEO Steve Haines, COO Dave Axam and CCO Joanne King.

Otherwise, the first areas to benefit from Lightspeed’s initial build, which we’re told is due to “start immediately,” will include several towns in South Lincolnshire and the “surrounding areas.

Lightspeed Broadband’s Initial Rollout Plan (Towns)
Kings Lynn (Norfolk)
Market Deeping

One catch here is that some of these towns are already in the process of being covered by gigabit-capable broadband networks from rivals, such as Boston where Openreach have a fair bit of FTTP (they’ve also got a lot of the inferior G.fast technology in nearby Skegness). But existing coverage is patchy and some of the towns have no real gigabit connectivity options, which presents an opportunity for Lightspeed to grow a first mover advantage.

Steve Haines, CEO of Lightspeed Broadband, said:

“These are exciting times for digital connectivity, and we are delighted to be a part of it. We are making a commitment to deliver a Gigabit broadband experience to the heart of the east of England which will unlock the potential of the region.

The need for high-speed, reliable internet, is growing faster than ever as a result of the continually increasing demand for professional home working, multi-user high quality online entertainment, high speed gaming, home schooling and affordable multi-video, face-to-face call services.

We might appear to be the new guys on the block, but in reality, we are a life-long, experienced team of telecoms experts that have spent decades building and managing telecoms networks at BT. Collaborating with communities and local authorities we will start building immediately in market towns in South Lincolnshire, bringing thousands of homes and businesses access to essential the full fibre, ultra-reliable gigabit broadband they deserve, and then expanding across the region to meet customer needs.”

Matt Warman MP, UK Minister for Digital Infrastructure, said:

“It is our national mission to level up the country with next-generation broadband and build back better from the pandemic. While we’re investing a record £5 billion to ensure really hard to reach areas get connected, we want big ideas and investment from industry to build a truly 21st century Britain.

So it’s fantastic to see Lightspeed’s hard work and dedication mean thousands of homes and businesses in Lincolnshire will soon be benefitting from gigabit speeds, with new local jobs created in the process.”

Lightspeed added that they will aim to “reuse existing infrastructure wherever possible,” which is most likely a reference to the prospect of running some of their fibre optic cable’s through or over Openreach’s existing cable ducts and poles (Physical Infrastructure Access); this is now a fairly common approach in the market, thanks to Ofcom’s changes to make PIA more flexible and accessible.

Assuming all goes to plan then the operator will aim start connecting customers “later this year” and they’ll then continue their future build into other counties, like Norfolk and the surrounding areas (Kings Lynn is already on their initial rollout list). But at this point they might well run up against some rivals in the alternative network space (e.g. County Broadband, B4RN and Symmetris are operating in parts of Norfolk too).

At the time of writing the ISP has not yet announced any package or price details for their related products, but we expect those details to surface closer to when the first customers are due to go live (it’ll probably take a few months of build before they get to this stage, so mid-2021 or later seems like a fair bet).

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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.
Leave a Comment
19 Responses
  1. Anna says:

    yes! please PLEASE come to my part of Skeggy!

    Sick of having g.fast 5 meters too far! 🙁

    1. Anna says:

      Every time I go past my NGA which is across the road from the G.fast pod I feel ill! – I have registered and pleaded for them to come to my part as we are well under loved ;(

    2. NKRB says:

      Anna, This is in reply to your later posts.
      Can I please suggest that you write to your MP and start making noise about these issues.
      You have just as much right as the next person to Hyper Fast internets.
      The fact that it is economically unviable descends from the fact that the political powers have decided to let the private sector run(crawl) with infrastructure roll out!

      I suggest write to your MP and keep following up. Ask them what are they doing about the poor fibre roll out at your region/street/area.

      You may use this link

      They might comeback with a standard reply about the Gigabit rollout etc etc. Press them on specific answers.

      PS- Throw in how the local elections dawn in a couple of months. Persevere!

  2. Andy C says:

    Wow, I’m amazed to see my home town mentioned in one of these rollouts at long last. I can’t seem to find a website for Lightspeed though.

    1. Anna says:

      me too Andy!

      And it’s here https://lightspeedbroadband.co.uk/

      usually the news links have the websites in them that’s how I found it anyway

    2. Andy C says:

      Ah thank you Anna. It didn’t come up on a brief Google search. I will be interested in seeing what packages they are going to offer.

    3. Anna says:

      Me too! I just hope they don’t leave us on FTTC!

    4. Lister says:

      It’s linked in the very first paragraph 🙂

  3. David MOORE says:

    All very well catering for towns some of which already have speeds well on excess of many rural areas.
    Here in Revesby we still struggle along with our 2mbps on a good day

    1. Anna says:

      I sort of feel your pain! I am near Skegness The houses next to me (literally next door) are on the main road and can get 200mbps but I am in a little spur and my line is 5 meters too long so I am on 21mbps and that’s my max.. (with 2mbps upload)

      I was about to take a wireless dish service with Quickline but now I hope this will come to me – if it does not then Quickline (who are already upgrading speeds this year) will be forced to do GB to stay in the market – so I guess it’s a win win for me anyway?

    2. JJ says:

      I totally agree, rural areas seem not to get a second thought, we struggle with an unreliable fixed wireless from V.Fast, which is definitely NOT Very Fast (max 5mbps download and 1.5mbps upload) and constantly suffers with disconnection issues as well as regularly been blocked on some streaming TV services. =(

    3. Anna says:

      This is why i didn’t really want fixed wireless unless I had to – I am sure the wind we are having would probably blow it away – they supply a lot of the holiday caravans I am told – so might well be crowded for now until the up their capacity.

  4. Mike says:

    Looking at the roll out and target dates for it, I suspect we living over in the rural parts of Wales won’t see any improvement until the end of this decade at the very earliest. Our speeds go up and down like a fiddlers elbow and often drop to a speed of a racing slug.

    1. Aled says:

      Where are you living Mike?

      Rural sites are difficult, but Pembroke is going 100% fibre apparently. My dad is raving about the 4G+/max EE mobile broadband I set him up with. He often gets 20-40 Meg download and he’s seriously up in the hills, probably no fibre within 5 miles of his place. Good direct sight of an EE mast with his external antenna though

  5. Jackie Skinner says:

    This will be a good thing for Boston hope it will also cover surrounding villages that have constant issues

    1. Anna says:

      Agreed. What will annoy me is if they leave areas like ours out that does not have g.fast but cover the areas that do.

  6. Neil Treece says:

    I’d love this but I fear that living in a complex of 18 flats will severely limit our chances of getting it early as I’m presuming that the whole building will need to be rewired. I think our building is between 30 and 35 years old.

    1. Anna says:

      Don’t see why not – it’s what others do

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