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Lightspeed Broadband Start FTTP Rollout in Lincolnshire and Norfolk

Friday, April 23rd, 2021 (2:00 pm) - Score 2,688
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Lincolnshire-based UK ISP Lightspeed Broadband, which recently burst on to the scene with a plan to invest £300m into a large deployment of 1Gbps Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technology across the East of England, has today kicked off its build work in several towns across South Lincolnshire and West Norfolk.

The operator, which is backed by an initial investment of £55m from an international investment consortium – including AtmosClear Investments and Kompass Kapital, initially aims to cover 100,000 homes by the end of 2022. The funding agreement also includes an “opportunity” to raise this up to £300m as work progresses.

NOTE: Assuming all goes well then the operator also has a medium-term ambition to reach 1 million homes by 2025.

The plan for all this was first unveiled in February 2021 (here) and yet, after only two months, work is today already said to be starting in ten towns, including Boston, Bourne, Holbeach, King’s Lynn and South Wootton, Long Sutton, Market Deeping, Skegness, Sleaford, Spalding and Stamford.

Specialist fibre infrastructure build partners, Plancast and RCU Solutions, have been appointed to support the rollout. So far, a total of 100 engineers have already been deployed and 30 new jobs will be created during the build, with an emphasis on employing, developing and training local people. Build teams will operate from depots in Stamford, King’s Lynn and Boston, and the network will be managed from a new Lightspeed HQ in Spalding.

Dave Axam, Operations Director for Lightspeed Broadband, said:

“We’re moving at ‘lightspeed’ to bring our FTTP network to the region to unlock the digital and economic potential of underserved communities in the East of England, starting in these ten towns.

We are looking forward to working in partnership with Plancast and RCU Solutions, who both have extensive experience in designing, planning and building telecoms’ infrastructure in a sustainable, efficient and high-quality way. Significant investment in digital mapping tools, and the strength and scalability of our partners, has enabled us to move rapidly, mobilise more than one hundred engineers and deploy simultaneously across ten towns.

We will be collaborating with the local authorities and communities in each town to build the network and to minimise disruption and environmental impact.”

Stephen Brookes, Lincolnshire County Council, said:

“The county council-led onlincolnshire programme has dramatically improved the county’s broadband infrastructure over the last few years, and more people than ever before can now enjoy superfast speeds. These highly significant improvements on the back of a massive investment by Lightspeed will build on that good work, greatly benefiting those Lincolnshire towns included in the roll out, who will receive some of the fastest speeds in the county.

Ultrafast speeds and the reliability gigabit broadband can offer will bring huge benefits to residents and businesses in these areas, and it’s great to see Lightspeed progressing so quickly.”

Despite being fairly new to the market, Lightspeed Broadband appears to be both well-funded and 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.

However, one difficulty they may face is that some of their initial towns are already in the process of being covered by rival gigabit networks, such as Boston where Openreach have a fair bit of FTTP (they’ve also got a lot of the inferior G.fast in nearby Skegness too). But existing coverage is often patchy and some towns have no real gigabit options, which presents an opportunity for Lightspeed to grow a first mover advantage.

At the time of writing Lightspeed’s website still doesn’t mention any packages or prices, but those details will no doubt follow once the first customers start to go live a little later this year.

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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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14 Responses
  1. Anna says:

    Yes! I was looking yesterday and wondering when! I hope they come to me. I am waiting for Starlink which is not available here but is a 2 miles away and I want this or Starlink! I have registered my interest the day you wrote about it so thanks again Mark 🙂

    1. Anna says:

      I am too far for G.fast I am just one of the people you talk about in the last paragraph! I get about half FTTC speed and no other options ( quickline want £60 a month for 50mbps) I notice all of a sudden Quickline are showing up on roadworks.org around the town. I wonder why! 😀

      If it’s okay Mark should I hear from Lightspeed I will update you?

  2. Mark Loosemore says:

    I live in Spalding and currently get G-Fast from TalkTalk. Interested to hear the pricing for Lightspeeds offering. If it is good then I will move…

    1. Anna says:

      Well that’s their hometown – i am glad to see it’s not just going to be their base first. The article says 11 towns I think but it’s all good to see 🙂

      I called them yesterday – They say I was the first to register my interest here – and will be one of the first on the network.

      You are lucky to get g.fast! – I’ve said on here before according to the engineer who did my FTTC I am 5 meters too long and so I can’t have it! 🙁 I look at houses getting 300mbps when I wash my dishes literally at the end of my drive! and I am on 21! 🙁

      I will keep my starlink order – and swap to that when I can and then go to Lightspeed when they are here – Starlink is no contract and you can return the kit for a refund in the first 12 months 🙂

    2. NE555 says:

      > You are lucky to get g.fast! – I’ve said on here before according to the engineer who did my FTTC I am 5 meters too long and so I can’t have it!

      In that situation, I’d say you are lucky *not* to get G.Fast. People who are on the edge of G.Fast range get flaky connections and very low upload speeds.

    3. Anna says:

      NE555 thanks for the info 🙂 – Now I am also glad!

  3. Mark Loosemore says:

    Does anybody know what happens to the landline for phone when switching to offers like this? I can’t see anywhere to get just landline unless lightspeed includes it…

    1. NE555 says:

      If Lightspeed don’t include a voice service, then your options are:

      1. Keep your existing landline just for voice. However you’ll have to pay around £12 per month rental, plus call charges. See https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2021/03/ofcom-accepts-bt-proposal-to-continue-uk-landline-only-discount.html

      2. Take a service from a standalone VOIP provider, and port your number to that. Some services have no monthly charge (e.g. Sipgate Basic). You’ll need some hardware (a SIP phone, a SIP DECT base station, or an ATA), or you can use a soft phone on your PC to start with. Either way, your voice calls will go over your Lightspeed connection or any other Internet service you take in the future.

      3. Just drop the landline, and switch to mobile only for voice calls. Many people are going this way.

      Note that by 2025, there will no longer be analogue voice PSTN: so even if you continue to pay for a landline, it will be switched over to digital by then. The provider will give you a slow broadband connection and router, and you’ll plug your phone into the router.

      So taking the opportunity now for going with option (2) or (3) is a good idea.

    2. Anna says:

      I am a day or so early but my internet is on 2 days before the live date – and I have no dial tone. As it’s only PAYG I hope it stays that way

  4. Andy C says:

    Looking forward to this rollout. Stamford feels like one of those forgotten market towns left in the past. Currently stuck on 30Mb FTTC, while not the worst connection, it’s well behind the times and doesn’t always keep up with the family usage.

    1. Anna says:

      I am on 21! looking forward to it also!

  5. SplinterUK says:

    Finally some good fortune for south Lincolnshire. I myself as a content creator cannot wait for this development. Wonderful news for Deeping, Bourne, Stamford and surrounding villages!

  6. Debbie says:

    It mentions Market Deeping but not Deeping St James, will DSJ be included I wonder?

  7. Anna says:

    I just had an e-mail from a provider called “YouFibre” they are offering 1000mbps in Boston. I had no idea they were there – maybe this is worth a news item?

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