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Community Fibre Builds FTTP to 4,000 Homes in Tower Hamlets

Wednesday, May 5th, 2021 (10:05 am) - Score 1,152
community fibre engineer installation

London focused UK ISP CommunityFibre, which is currently deploying their 10Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network across the capital city, has signed a wayleave agreement with social landlord EastendHomes in the Borough of Tower Hamlets. The deal will see their full fibre network cover 4,000 more homes.

In addition to providing their broadband network directly to EastendHomes’ residents, CF will also work with the social landlord over the next year to upgrade the building management systems (including door entry, CCTV and lift monitoring) to 100% full fibre in order to increase the energy efficiency and security of the buildings.

Furthermore, six of EastendHomes’ community centres located across Tower Hamlets will be provided with a “Gigafast connection for free“. This initiative follows as a pilot roll-out has started at Wager & Royston street onto Bede Estate in March, expanding to Holland Estate in April.

John Henderson, MD of EastendHomes, said:

“Digital inclusion is at the heart of EastendHomes’ partnership with Community Fibre and a belief that access to affordable reliable broadband is fundamental in 2021. Our agreement will ensure all our buildings are providing high speed full fibre broadband to keep our residents connected and support them with their everyday needs. Free Wifi at each one of our community centres also means there is always a friendly place for our residents to go online.”

Graeme Oxby, CEO of Community Fibre, said:

“The past year has shown how critical it is to allow people to stay connected. As a London-based internet service provider, we believe all Londoners have the right to access fast, reliable broadband at an affordable price, as much as any other key utility services. Our partnership with EastendHomes is the way forward to help us achieve this goal and empower more London communities to stay connected and build an inclusive digital future in the capital city.”

At present the operator’s network is already available to 200,000 premises across parts of Barnet, Brent, Camden, City of London, Croydon, Ealing, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Islington, Lambeth, Lewisham, Newham, Richmond upon Thames, Southwark, Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth and Westminster. CF’s ambition is to reach 1 million premises by the end of 2023.

New customers of the service can currently take an unlimited 50Mbps package for just £20 per month for the first 24 months of service (£25 thereafter), while 300Mbps costs £25 per month (£29.50 thereafter), 800Mbps costs £35 per month (£40 thereafter), 1Gbps costs £49 per month (£54 thereafter) and their top 3Gbps tier is £99 per month (£110 thereafter).

NOTE: The picture in this article was taken pre-COVID19.

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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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9 Responses
  1. Rahul says:

    Absolutely amazing news, I can’t believe it!!! 😀

    I received 2 letters in the last few days and also from Virtua UK that they will be installing their Full Fibre service to EastendHomes premises on behalf of Community Fibre. I was sceptical at first as I thought it was simply another negotiation attempt.

    I also received an email today from Jamie Beckley from Virtua UK that confirms that it will indeed be Full Fibre directly to all residential front doors of the properties within the building and not just to the basement of the building.

    The long wait is finally over after 7 years trying to convince them to sign wayleave to no avail! It almost feels like a dream miracle to read this news! I honestly thought I’d have to wait another 5-10 years for it to happen.

    Coincidentally one of the Community Fibre Field Sales emailed me just a few minutes before the publication of the news here on ISPreview. I only came to check here out of curiosity and the news was published shortly! 🙂

    1. A_Builder says:

      These guys are generally pretty good news for social housing. They ONLY do full fibre.

      We have CF at one of our offices and it has been very robust apart from a small wrinkle. For domestic use it will be absolutely brilliant.

      I am still gobsmacked that OR are happy to let them have all the MDU’s and seemingly make zero effort to acquire all these dwelling that are mostly cheap to do with a master way leave and a single freeholder.

      Once they actually start installing things tend to go pretty quickly.

    2. Meadmodj says:

      OR’s approach is probably simply down to priorities. The trials in Manchester must by now have provided them with cost data. OR installation practices are likely to be more costly but they will cover MDUs as they roll out.

      Although they could run out a discrete fibre to a location (their own New Build or Altnets have proved to be viable) but it is still more efficient nationally for both resource and investment to follow their contiguous plan unless there vis some other funding. As Cityfibre have found a single fibre to a OR Pole is a very cost effective to get the coverage numbers up. OR need to cover as many premises as possible per £ and that this investment will result in retaining or increasing their revenue.

      OR probably consider that they can hold on to many customers (including BT social tariff and DSL offers by other ISPs) despite Altnet availability and can return later to review whether a building is commercially viable to FTTH up.

      In addition MDUs are likely to have higher planning costs and whilst some buildings will be easy to install with FTTH, others will be horrendous.

    3. A_Builder says:

      “OR’s approach is probably simply down to priorities.”

      That might well be true. However, these guys (and hyper) have lead the way in making MDU FTTP a thing. They are eating OR’s lunch.

      OR really do need to wonder why their installation numbers are so different to anyone else’s, if that really is the case?

    4. Fastman says:

      A builder dont forget CF dont wholesale their network nor do Hyper so the commercial case is very different that a Wholesale network provider

      CF / Hyper you build you charge all the money comes to you

    5. Rahul says:

      Tbh, in a sense I don’t regret that EastendHomes denied wayleave to Hyperoptic 6-7 years ago, even though I needed it much more badly back then as I didn’t even have FTTC to begin with! Our EO Line ADSL was pretty bad constant drops for years. FTTC finally solved my disconnection problems in Oct 2019 but that too came after a long wait.

      Actually I don’t blame OR for not being able to install their FTTP services because EastendHomes kept denying them permission as well! This is why Openreach reverted the upgrade to FTTC.

      After further evaluation, I am now glad that neither Hyperoptic or OR are servicing us with FTTP. Because OR is not symmetrical FTTP, they do only GPON and XG-PON with 1Gbps download and 220Mb upload, which is a drawback not many people will be happy with!

      While Hyperoptic is not true Fibre with only the Fibre going to the basement of the building and the rest of the flats being fed with Cat5e cables. That’s also quite disappointing even if it delivers gigabit speeds it is not psychologically satisfying.

      CF do XGS-PON and Fibre direct to the properties, that’s why they are also able to provide 3Gbps FTTP to home users. While Hyperoptic do 50Mbps download and only 5Mbps upload. Community Fibre is symmetrical on all packages + the 3Gbps package even though most of us do not need it. It is a proper FTTP service giving CF a better reputation!

      I guess “Good things come to those who wait”! 🙂

    6. WibbledOff says:

      Though those that can afford to pay £99 per month shouldn’t really be in social housing to begin with.

  2. Roger_Gooner says:

    @Rahul: “While Hyperoptic is not true Fibre with only the Fibre going to the basement of the building and the rest of the flats being fed with Cat5e cables. That’s also quite disappointing even if it delivers gigabit speeds it is not psychologically satisfying.”
    You seem to be unaware that a typical CityFibre installation is fibre to a switch and then cat 5e to the flats. And what’s this nonsense about “not psychologically satisfying”: it’s performance and reliability that matter not the underlying technology.

    1. Rahul says:

      @Roger: Even if CityFibre also do Cat5e like what Hyperoptic do, it is not right. People wait for many years to get what is supposed to be marketed as Full Fibre only to find out that the cables entering their flats in MDU’s are not Fibre at all.

      Community Fibre have just installed Fibre cables and they are now hanging outside my flat from the wall!! This gives me much greater satisfaction knowing that they aren’t Cat5e cables.

      6-7 years ago when I registered as a Hyperoptic Champion of my building, I shortly later found out that they are only installing Fibre to the basement. And even though I was promised to get 1 Gbps free for a whole year if I could help with the wayleave, I was still discouraged. But I thought, better this than nothing as there weren’t any signs of FTTC or any chance of getting FTTP from another provider.

      It is quite possible that even EastendHomes were aware of this, that’s why they didn’t want to sign wayleave with them.

      The underlying technology of-course matters! In 10 years time Hyperoptic will not only need to upgrade the Passive Optical Network to XGS-PON or better, they will also need to upgrade the internal Cat5e cables to Cat6/7 cables or to Fibre for their entire portfolio of buildings in order to support 10Gbps once again. This is an unnecessary work that they could’ve avoided in the first place if they fed the individual flats with fibre!

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