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VX Fiber Start FTTP Broadband Rollout in Two Cheshire UK Towns

Tuesday, July 13th, 2021 (7:46 am) - Score 1,728
VX FIBER LilaConnect FTTP street worker

Swedish operator VX Fiber (inc. subsidiary LilaConnect) has this morning announced that their ongoing rollout of a new “open access” gigabit speed Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband ISP network has been extended into Cheshire (England), with the towns of Crewe and Nantwich joining their roster.

At present the operator is already busy deploying their new “full fibre” networks across several areas of the UK, including in the Staffordshire city of Stoke-on-Trent (100,000 premises – here), the large town of Colchester in Essex (8,000 premises – here) and parts of London (3,000 premises completed under the “Prime Fibre” project) – often using a mix of public and private investment.

Sadly, today’s announcement doesn’t say how much the operator will invest into the two new towns in Cheshire or precisely how many premises will benefit. But Crewe is home to a large population of around 71,000 and Nantwich is home to around 17,000. In any case, construction work has already started in Stapeley and “all homes and businesses” in the two towns are planned to be reached by the end of 2023.

VX Fiber typically builds “open access” networks that can then be used by other UK ISPs, while the operator’s subsidiary, LilaConnect, is the one responsible for marketing, selling, installing and maintaining the connections from this new infrastructure to residents and businesses. Lila supplies access via a number of ISPs, such as Air Broadband, Breeze Fibre and Pure Broadband etc.

Mikael Sandberg, Chairman of VX Fiber, said:

“It is important to recognize that the shift to full fibre has been taking place on a global scale for over a decade. The UK in general has improved its full fibre coverage from 1% in 2012 to 18% at the end of 2020. Although the UK is playing a long game of catchup with the rest of the world, what is encouraging to note is that full fibre deployment across the UK is ramping up significantly.

We are delighted to be an intrinsic part of the UK’s goal to get the country connected – and are looking forward to delivering Crewe and Nantwich with the digital infrastructure that will help them reap the economic and socio-economic benefits stable, reliable and high-capacity internet connectivity offers.”

A quick look at both towns reveals that VX Fiber will face some competition from gigabit-capable rivals, although most of their competitors in the area are still in the early phase of build. For example, Openreach are deploying FTTP across Nantwich, but their full fibre presence in neighbouring Crewe is very limited.

On the other hand, Zzoomm also plans to roll out in Crewe, and ITS Technology has previously deployed some of their own fibre in the town, although the latter is almost entirely focused upon the local business park and does not appear to serve local homes. Crewe is also home to a lot of Openreach’s slower and now largely abandoned hybrid fibre G.fast technology.

The price of related packages on the new network may vary slightly between ISPs, although most tend to charge just under £40 per month for their top unlimited 1Gbps (symmetric) product on a 12 or 24-month contract term (a free installation and router is usually included in that price). Suffice to say, they’re competitively priced and that’s very strategic in order to drive take-up.

Leave a Comment
5 Responses
  1. Dave says:

    You can add Airband to that list of competition in Cheshire East too. Lots of work going on there even with the complete lack of information coming out of Connecting Cheshire’s website. If it wasn’t for this site, people just would not know whats going on.
    https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2021/01/airband-contracted-to-rollout-fttp-broadband-in-east-cheshire.html

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      Except I’m not aware of Airband deploying FTTP anywhere near to the two towns listed above, at least I haven’t seen any indications of that yet.

  2. Dave says:

    I thought ZZOOMM fibre had announced these 2 towns a few weeks back?

  3. Michael Jones says:

    They have announced but deploying and putting a shovel in the ground is something else.

  4. In my front yard says:

    In Stapeley, Nantwich during August, Openreach have been laying fibre cables using their existing underground network with little disruption, closely followed a week or so later by Lila connect who are now digging trenches along ALL the pavements…. (and doing a very shoddy job of re laying the tarmac). It’s ridiculous that some areas of the country have poor broadband, yet we now have two sets of FTTP on our doorstep. What a waste of resources!

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