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ISP Giganet Unveil GBP250m Full Fibre Rollout for South England

Wednesday, May 19th, 2021 (7:22 am) - Score 3,792
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UK ISP Giganet (M12 Solutions) has today announced that they’ve started to build their own gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network to 300,000 premises across poorly served parts of Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and West Sussex, which is being backed by a £250m investment from Fern Trading.

Until now Giganet, which has also unbundled some of BT’s exchanges (e.g. Salisbury) in order to offer cheaper packages to local consumers, has tended to sell “full fibre” broadband services by harnessing the wholesale solutions offered via established network operators, such as Openreach and CityFibre in different parts of the United Kingdom.

NOTE: Fern Trading, which was advised by Octopus Investment on the deal, also backs a number of other full fibre builds from Jurassic Fibre, Swish Fibre and Vorboss.

By comparison, building their own network is a much more demanding and expensive prospect, particularly given the huge number of competitive alternative network (AltNet) operators that have entered the UK market over just the last three years (Summary of UK Full Fibre Builds). Not to mention Openreach’s plan to cover 25 million premises (here) and Virgin Media’s aspiration for something similar (here).

Nevertheless, Giganet has now identified a number of locations in Southern England where they think it’s worth the investment to build. However, rather than just announce a future plan and run the fibre to the press release gauntlet, they’ve instead begun to build at the same time as they unveil their project.

Jarlath Finnegan, Giganet CEO, told ISPreview.co.uk:

“Together with Fern, Giganet now has the resources to quickly connect lots more customers across the UK. As an experienced provider, it is an exciting time for Giganet as we look to become the best performing ISP in the region, bringing people together like never before and creating sustainable high tech job opportunities for local people in the communities we operate in.”

Rob Skinner, Octopus Investments, added:

“We’re really excited about Giganet’s plans to bring full fibre connectivity to customers in need of an upgrade from slow copperbroadband. Working with Openreach and CityFibre, as well asbuilding its own fibre network in underserved areas, Giganet will be bringing a broadband service with a reputation for excellent customer service to a huge number of homes and businesses. We look forward to helping Giganet become one of the UK’s leading full fibre ISPs.”

Over 200 new jobs are expected to be created in the regions Giganet is building in. The company’s original founders, Andrew and Matthew Skipsey, will also join newly appointed CEO, Jarlath Finnegan, and a strong senior leadership team, to deliver on the new growth plans. The provider has a lot of experience behind it and so their plans carry somewhat more credibility than some of the other projects we’ve seen.

ISPreview.co.uk further understands that some of the first locations set to benefit are likely to include Wimborne, Ferndown, Ringwood, Fordingbridge and the communities between (i.e. mostly around the Dorset and Hampshire area). More information is expected to be published on this page in the future – https://home.giga.net.uk/fullfibre/ .

The only downside to all this is that Giganet will now be selling services over three different networks – usually with different prices and features, which while achieving strong coverage can also create some additional confusion for consumers and tends to force ISPs into hiding their package details behind availability checkers.

Some providers, such as Vodafone and TalkTalk, get around this by streamlining their prices across different networks, but that may be harder to maintain as rival networks grow and competitive pressures increase.

Leave a Comment
8 Responses
  1. Andy says:

    I received a card in the post last week from Giganet inviting me to sign up to register my interest. It seems that they are being very proactive in finding out where their potential new customers are located. I live in Ferndown, one of the areas on their list.
    What I would be interested in is a timescale for this build work as they’ve not given me any indication of this.

  2. Ben says:

    Interesting. I wonder if Fern’s networks (Swish, Jurassic Fibre, Vorboss, and now Giganet) will come together at some point? Given the dominance of Openreach (and to a lesser extent, Virgin and CityFibre), perhaps some coordination between the smaller players would help make the market more competitive?

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      You’ll note that most of them are focusing on different areas, albeit within the same ‘Southern England’ focus. So I’d say your assumption may have some merit, albeit still early days for such talk.

  3. Philip Cheeseman says:

    Excellent news. I live slightly further east than the initial rollout and have zero options currently. Hopefully they noticed the little set of towns I live in that doesn’t even have vm yet.

  4. Walter says:

    Ferndown is an interesting choice, as living here I’m aware that its going to be costly and potentially poor value to provide FTTH etc to. I guess they could just be planning to PIA the whole lot, but then is that really competitive?

    1. Andy says:

      If they PIA everything, that could be fun for the installers. Driving into work today, most of the route in, the poles carried both telephone and overhead power lines to properties. I wonder how this would work in terms of physical load capacity.

      The area that I live in though should be a lot easier. All of the phone cables are underground and there is a good level of spare capacity in the ducting.

  5. Damien says:

    I went through a tiny tiny village of 9 houses today near Daventry- literally a single street – with gigaclear doing their build – and this was out in a place I couldn’t get any mobile signal.

    Giganet and others must be starting to feel the pinch of competition.

    1. CarlT says:

      That hamlet could’ve been subsidised or could be en route to somewhere else I guess.

      Seems extremely unlikely they’d go out of their way to serve 9 premises on their own tab.

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