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Country Connect Bring Full Fibre to Ponthir and Caerleon in Wales UPDATE

Tuesday, May 25th, 2021 (8:23 am) - Score 720
country_connect_works

UK ISP Country Connect, which started life back in 2016 by offering a Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) broadband network to remote rural communities in South Wales, has over the past few months begun building out their own gigabit capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network and is about to start connecting their first customers.

So far the provider hasn’t said much about their future plans and instead seem happy to carry on without putting too much effort into the promotional side of things, which in today’s world of big fibre build announcements is actually kind of refreshing (less boasting, more delivery). The FTTP deployment hasn’t even been mentioned on their blog page. Nevertheless, progress is being made.

After training up some engineers and getting them accustomed to Openreach’s Physical Infrastructure Access (PIA) product, which enables rival operators to harness existing cable ducts and poles in order to run their own fibre (this can help to reduce deployment costs), Country Connect is now making some real progress on their first full fibre build.

The first two locations to benefit include the modest sized village of Ponthir on the boundary of Monmouthshire and Newport, which is home to about 1,500 people. On top of that the ISP are also deploying across the town of Caerleon just outside Newport, which is home to over 8,000 people. Both locations have been neglected by gigabit-capable rivals, although Openreach (BT) have deployed slower G.fast tech across most of the area.

country_connect_fttp_rollout_streets

Country Connect’s deployment appears to be partly demand-led and those who sign-up before they start building may be able to benefit from a free installation (worth c.£149). Sadly, the package details and prices for their own FTTP network aren’t yet shown on their website, but they have been promoting them to locals.

Country Connect’s FTTP Packages (On-Net)

100 Mbps (Upload of 30Mbps) – £39.99 a month for 24 months (£47.99 thereafter)

300 Mbps (Upload of 70Mbps) – £49.99 a month for 24 months (£57.99 thereafter)

900 Mbps (Upload of 100Mbps) – £59.99 a month for 24 months (£67.99 thereafter)

Going forward we suspect that the ISP may face some competition from Openreach’s ongoing FTTP expansion and Spectrum Internet’s rival build, which is also about to get underway and will be operating in roughly the same sort of areas (we’re expecting some detail on that soon). Otherwise, Country Connect expect to connect their first customers “shortly.

UPDATE 26th May 2021

Country Connect has said the ambition is to make their network available to roughly 5,000 properties by the end of 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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6 Responses
  1. FTTP4WALES says:

    Great news to read about more Full FTTP deployment rollout in Wales. I hope so see Country Connect, Spectrum and other providers working in hard to reach areas or those areas which are poorly undeserved to bring competitive FTTP packages and branch off into the more Rural areas. Keep up the good work.

  2. Anna says:

    Good to see but why leave out Newport? Yes we have VM but it’s pants. however this might force VM to get it GB ready as we are 600 max I think.

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      Newport is a city where other operators have an interest to build or existing presence, so it wouldn’t make much economic sense for a small start-up to suddenly dive headlong into a pool filled with sharks. You learn to walk before you can run.

    2. Anna says:

      Does it? Tell me who Mark, I am Newport born and bred and apart from Virgin there is only G.fast here – no real FTTP never has been and I have lived in most of the city over the years.

      Interesting to learn who as I checked all my old addresses ( 7 since birth) and none of them offer more than g.fast and Virgin Media.

    3. Anna says:

      Forgot to add they range from Langstone to Ringland, Gaer to Beechwood Park – all the way down to Maesglas and Duffryn.

    4. Mark Jackson says:

      Virgin Media is a gigabit-capable network and Openreach added Newport to their FTTP rollout plan last September. As I say, given that, it would not make much sense for a small player to enter the same area.

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