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ISP FACTCO Making Progress on UK Community Full Fibre Builds

Monday, June 14th, 2021 (11:32 am) - Score 1,776

UK ISP FACTCO (Ecodial) appears to be making progress on a growing number of their community focused Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband deployments, which is helping to make gigabit speed connectivity available to homes across parts of Northumberland, County Durham, Yorkshire and Lancashire.

Until recently, FACTCO had tended to focus on bringing full fibre broadband to businesses, such as down the Shambles street in the city of York (here), and earlier this year they extended 10Gbps capable connectivity across Liverpool’s (Merseyside) Baltic Triangle area (here), among other areas.

However, last year the provider revealed a new plan that would see them expand their own fibre network – often with the support of gigabit vouchers from the government – to “serve predominantly rural areas” in Wales, as well as parts of northern England and Scotland (here). The new build would also expand their reach to residential properties.

One of the first locations to be announced was the Northumberland coastal village of Cambois (here), where work to cover 400 premises has now finally got underway and is due to finish this summer (it was originally due to complete by “early 2021,” so clearly there were a few issues). FACTCO are also providing a free broadband connection to Cambois Primary School and have sponsored Bedlington FC seniors, as well as The Institute, a local community arts organisation.

One catch here is that Openreach have also started to deploy a new FTTP network to certain streets in the Cambois area, but FACTCO understands that the operator “do not plan” on supporting the entire area.

Lee Murphy, MD of FACTCO, said:

“We’re now ready to connect the community of Cambois. This is a project that we’re looking forward to complete as we understand the demand for improved connectivity in the area. We’ve been working closely with the community by supporting local arts organisations, local football clubs and public services. It is important that these services and organisations access better connectivity to give them the opportunity to thrive.”

However, Cambois is just one of several communities where FACTCO’s network has either been deployed or will soon be built, which isn’t covered by today’s announcement. A quick look through their website reveals that the provider has quite a long list of active locations in its plan.

FACTCO’s Fibre Build Locations

Coquet Grange
Cambois Area
Darras Hall
Riding Mill
Rothbury Area

County Durham
Bolam, Hilton & Morton Tinmouth
Butterknowle, Copley & Woodland
Cockfield & Esperley
Killerby & Summerhouse
Middleton-In-Teesdale & New Biggin
Startforth & Boldron


North West
Hale Village
Poole Village

New customers will typically pay from £24.99 per month for an unlimited 100Mbps symmetric speed service on a 12-month contract term, which also includes a free installation and included Linksys Velop WiFi Mesh router. The top 1000Mbps package costs £44.99 per month, which is pretty cheap for such a service.

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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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13 Responses
  1. adslmax says:

    The top 1000Mbps package costs £44.99 per month, which is pretty cheap for such a service.

    That’s a bargain price if it was both same speed (down/up)

  2. GNewton says:

    Its website says that it provides up to 1000Mbps upload and download speeds.
    Hence it’s better than what Openreach-based providers offer.

    1. A_Builder says:

      I find it interesting that OR continue to pedal the fiction that upstream is expensive.

      I really do think this will become the differentiating factor. Honestly if I was offered 1G/1G by XYZ or 1G/220M by OR I would certainly take the XYZ offer over the OR offer (personally I would be happy with 330/330 at home but am stuck on 298/48 on GFast).

      Most upstream is used for obvious cloudy things and so it relatively easy to peer off – certainly for domestic use: the business case is totally different.

    2. Ben says:

      I guess the altnets don’t have a leased line business to protect, unlike Openreach.

    3. adslmax says:

      Most G.fast line get max data rate over 500Meg down and over 80Meg up. If the customer are within 25-75m from the cabinet but was capped at 330/50 by Openreach.

    4. CarlT says:

      XGSPON versus GPON. Having to guarantee a quality of service versus being able to let it contend. Wanting to protect a lucrative dedicated line market.

      XGSPON burst mode lasers are getting cheaper so at some point Openreach will presumably make the switch.

    5. A_Builder says:

      @ adslmax says:
      June 14, 2021 at 2:19 pm
      “Most G.fast line get max data rate over 500Meg down and over 80Meg up. If the customer are within 25-75m from the cabinet but was capped at 330/50 by Openreach.”

      Umm no.

      The frequency profile that was implemented by OR only goes up to 330/50…..there are no higher frequencies present to go faster.

      Our line is close to perfect and at 140m that is all it will support.

      It is usually pretty stable, except when there is a gale as our line is overhead from the pole.

    6. New_Londoner says:

      The issue here is GPON and how much some altnets may be prepared to oversell their available capacity. Those offering symmetric speeds on GPON don’t have a better solution than Openreach, they’re simply taking a chance that most users will not fully utilise the upload, which will be true for the vast majority of consumers at least.

      Network operators will need XGS-PON to offer true symmetric services, unless of course they are prepared to go with G-PON / XG-PON and a much lower contention ratio.

    7. CarlT says:

      Thr RF bandwidth Openreach run G.fast in is capable of more than 330/50.

      17.664 – 106 = 88 MHz of RF bandwidth give or take. G.fast goes up to 4096 QAM / 12 bits per Hz.

      The capacity may seem lower as equipment doesn’t transmit at higher power levels than required to provide the configured SNR margin.

      If configured for 380 Mb/s of aggregate capacity no point in transmitting at double or quadruple the power to increase the modulation order available and antisocial to other lines running at excessive power, too.

  3. Damien says:

    God. I have to pay £98 a month just to get 2 lines to give me 140 down and 39 up!

    I’d give my left kidney for this at any price!

    1. Ben says:

      I suspect you can receive this sort of service as a leased line for between £400 and £600 (inc VAT). I suspect that’s not what you had in mind though when you said “at any price”?

  4. JP says:

    Interesting to see how they end up competing with OpenReach. I know my area (Barnard Castle, Startforth on that list) has recently been put on the OR FTTP roadmap, so we will end up with both FACTCO and OR FTTP it seems.

    1. Scot says:

      Will Be interesting to see how their funding model works noting voucher eligibility is very limited now given bigger commitments from the big providers. If reliant on vouchers only there won’t be a huge business case here.

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