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ISP Scotnet and Tewdric Energy Hint at UK FTTP Rollout Plans UPDATE

Monday, August 2nd, 2021 (12:05 pm) - Score 600
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Broadband provider Scotnet, which mostly focuses upon serving rural areas in Scotland, and new market entrant Tewdric Energy have today, separately, both hinted at future plans to build a new Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network across parts of the United Kingdom.

Both of the aforementioned companies have today put in applications to secure Code Powers from Ofcom (here and here), which is something that network operators often do in order to help speed-up the deployment of new fibre optic networks and cut costs, not least by reducing the number of licenses needed for street works. It can also help facilitate access to run fibre through Openreach’s existing ducts and poles (PIA).

We’ll start with the familiar name of Scotnet, which is a small but predominantly Openreach based business ISP that has been around for quite a long time, although they haven’t yet launched any G.fast or FTTP based broadband packages.

Ofcom’s document doesn’t provide a solid indication of Scotnet’s plan (there’s a vague ambition for network expansion), but does state that they already run a broadband network in Scotland that uses both Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) and FTTP. If they do, then it’s not something they’ve mentioned on their website, unless FTTP is being confused with leased lines and FWA is a reference to their Hebrides network (this closed a year ago). The tentative plan thus seems to be centred on gaining code powers to help support a gigabit voucher fuelled rollout to reach remote rural parts of Scotland.

Next, we come to the unusual entry of Tewdric Energy, which describes itself as a “climate positive energy company” and is thus one that hasn’t yet had any noticeable impact upon the UK telecoms market. But despite that, the company is now proposing to deploy a new ultrafast FTTP broadband network to homes and businesses in “selected locations across the UK.

Furthermore, they also propose to “use the FTTP access network to deploy a private electronic communications network that would be used to support a smart energy network that it intends to deploy,” which sounds a bit more relevant and is probably going to be their core focus. But otherwise, there’s not a lot more to be gleamed right now.

Finally, it may be worth mentioning that VirginMedia National Networks Limited (a wholly owned subsidiary of VirginMedia Wholesale Limited) has also put in a Code Powers application (related to this), although this is more about upgrading connectivity to their own key hub sites and buildings.

UPDATE 4th August 2021

Despite what Ofcom’s document clearly states, Tewdric Energy has now informed ISPreview.co.uk that they are “[not] looking to deploy full fibre broadband networks.” The company says they only require Code Powers because they will need to install street furniture alongside their EV charging points and for their deployments, a ‘private wire’ fibre is required as part of the Smart Grids that are being built.

So quite a bit different from Ofcom’s document: “The Applicant is a new venture that seeks Code powers to facilitate the deployment of a fibre to the premises (FTTP) access network in selected locations across the UK. The proposed network would be used to provide ultrafast broadband services to homes and businesses.”

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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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