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Full Fibre Ltd Reveal Next 13 UK Towns for FTTP Broadband

Thursday, September 2nd, 2021 (3:18 pm) - Score 13,680
Full Fibre Limited Engineer and Diggers Trenching

Full Fibre Limited, which aims to deploy a new 1Gbps Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband ISP network to cover “at least” 500,000 UK premises by 2025, has today named the next batch of 13 rural and semi-urban “forgotten towns” across Derbyshire, Staffordshire, West Yorkshire, and Nottinghamshire to benefit from their rollout.

The provider, which runs its network as a wholesale platform via Fibre Heroes for other UK ISPs to harness (e.g. SWS, HFL Broadband, Connect Me to 2 Full Fibre, ANLX, Air Broadband, Cloud Wireless and fibrehop), initially started their rollout in Leominster (Fastershire project), Ivybridge and South Hams during 2019. But in March 2021 they unveiled another 100,000 premises across 11 additional UK towns (here).

NOTE: Full Fibre Limited is being backed by multi-billion-dollar infrastructure investment fund Basalt, which owns a majority interest in the company.

By comparison, today’s announcement adds a further 13 market towns across Derbyshire, Staffordshire, West Yorkshire, and Nottinghamshire in England to their plan (they tend to focus on those with between 5,000 and 40,000 premises), which equates to an additional 119,00 homes and businesses.

Once completed, this should bring their total network coverage to c.250,000 premises.

The 13 New Locations
Swadlincote
Retford
Buxton
Leek
Belper
South Elmsall
Matlock
Hilton
South Alfreton
Cheadle
Uttoxeter
North Wingfield
Bakewell

The operator states that the “majority of premises” in the aforementioned areas should be able to access their gigabit capable internet services within the next 12 months.

Oliver Helm, Full Fibre CEO, said:

“We are delighted to announce the extension of our network nationally and are looking forward to bringing fibre broadband to those in hard-to-reach locations. The areas we have chosen are currently relying on ageing copper connections that cannot meet the needs of consumers.

As a wholesale infrastructure builder, Full Fibre is passionate about providing end-users with a choice of providers and a competitive marketplace that will drive innovation, better customer service and ultimately, deliver better value for money for all.

It is vital that everyone in a community has access to ultrafast and reliable services, and this latest announcement is a testament to that. We’re looking forward to additional announcements down the line as we look to further expand our network.”

All of this is good news, although it should be said that not all the listed towns could be described as “forgotten“. For example, some towns, such as Buxton, are due to be reached by Openreach’s (BT) own FTTP rollout. Meanwhile, others, such as Swadlincote, already have strong gigabit-capable coverage via rival networks like Virgin Media. But the extra competition will be good.

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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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26 Responses
  1. David Lomax says:

    The forgotten town of Burton on Trent in Staffordshire is still forgotten.

    But, one thing I don’t understand. Swadlincote was already under build with Openreach. What happened, did they give up and pass it to “Full Fibre Ltd.” or are they doing separate areas?

    1. Daniel says:

      Hasn’t burton been covered with virgin media and it’s on the full fibre upgrade from openreach?

    2. David Lomax says:

      Hi Daniel, I wish! Virgin fizzled out round the corner on the main road, and didn’t even enter mine. Bizarre because they cabled up all the poor areas and then stopped where it suddenly gets more affluent.

      Burton is officially covered under the build on the Openreach full fiber rollout map, to be built by 2026. So far nothing has happened and no sign of it. A few roadworks appeared on the One.Network map last/this month for Openreach but not sure what it is.

      Can’t get anything here. I was on the edge of 5G coverage, and I installed 4 antennas on the roof. It was going OK until EE reduced the power of the mast to about 10% of what it was. No there’s no 5G either. Hopeless.

    3. Tommy T says:

      Woodville area BT were here 2 weeks ago talking about replacing a telegraph pole for the full fibre roll out. They were then supposed to replace it the following week, we haven’t heard anything.

    4. Matt says:

      I’ve never understood why Burton doesn’t get much love from BT, though I suspect it’s quite a “hard” area with having to deal with bridges etc. as Burton exchange deals with both sides of the river. Also Swadlincote VDSL etc. all had “Connecting Derbyshire” type marketing on it so I suspect the local council did some financial encouragement our side of the river.

      Virgin have also extended out across Castle Gresley, Swadlincote. (Park to Drum and Monkey from memory however I know they’ve not done all of the roads). I would hope they’re doing the same style network as the rest of Swad to make it consistent (seen as they bought Sky’s network) – it’d certainly be nice to know.

      I managed to order FTTP from BT for install on 6/7/21. (Ordered immediately it was available as Virgin has the stability of a dog in a van). Since then i’ve checked some more postcodes for family etc. where Telegraph poles have been upgraded – and they still can’t order. Makes me wonder if they expected the build to move on more before allowing orders and mine was a mistake.

      @Tommy – it depends who’s doing that pole replacement, there’s several in the area (e.g. near the Parish church rooms). TELENT did the construction near myself but that doesn’t mean they’ll be doing the pole replacements. They may have had difficulty getting availability of a constructor to dig down in tighter areas. (they’re usually a good few meters in the ground)

  2. Samuel Stephenson says:

    South Elmsall has Opeanreach rolling out right now.

  3. Noone In-particular says:

    Living in Croydon and still waiting for some sort of FTTP to be made avaliable to terraced houses.

    1. CarlT says:

      Can’t see you having too long a wait. Terraces are great for FTTP. Only flats are cheaper to deploy to.

    2. MikeP says:

      Flats are only cheaper to deploy to if you can actually deploy to them. If you can’t contact/engage with the freeholder to negotiate a wayleave, it’s undeployable. Terraces can pose similar issues.

  4. Peter says:

    Dont get too excited, they dont finish the job. Started in North Tyneside but all of a sudden just upped sticks and gone without a word.

  5. Josh Welby says:

    Croydon is covered by Virgin who has a gigabit network in place
    By 2028 they aim to rip up their copper network and replace it with FTTP

  6. Daniel says:

    If you are doing Hilton please come down the road to Hatton!!

  7. Occasionally Wokey says:

    country bumpkin town: check
    town where they can’t spell fibre: check
    town where people think FTTC is fibre: check

    town with 150,000 people close to London who do use broadband and not stack Tesco shelves:

    denied.

    1. Paul says:

      Wow, what an ignorant comment. You really have no clue, do you?

  8. Peter Booth says:

    We are alo forgotten in parts of Falmouth Cornwall

  9. Paul Jameson says:

    When getting fibre installed, Please get them to complete integrated wiring for the telephone. This is where a jack point is located near the ont/modem. A phone cable is then routed to the internal wiring or another jack point. This livens the and keeps the telephone working after the fibre has been installed. Else it will be the ONT or the modem as the exit point.

    1. LondonFibre123 says:

      The telephone line is BT property so no other provider can touch that.

  10. Andy Grey Rider says:

    Great at take up but becomes slower and niggly over time. Where I live we had a Nynex station headquarters feet away but couldn’t get any fibre service from them.
    I live on an estate of 600 homes and I am the only FTTC customer with Zen Internet. The service is megabytes faster than any other ISP and not that much more expensive than for Sahara Wasteland Throttling(Talk-the-Talk, Sky, BT) ISP Brokers.
    Am I going to inform my neighbours of this? Not a chance, let them stew.

    1. D says:

      Pick a good backhaul ISP, yes, but otherwise it’s got nothing to do with the estate your are on.

  11. Aaron F says:

    Swadlincote only got virgin media within the last month or two, most still not covered and work in progress. As another comment mentioned, BT said they would bring FTTP and gave up after a whopping 5 streets or so. It most certainly had been forgotten since 2021 unlike the article states, essentially entirely FTTC at the end of 2020, 5G has come sooner than fibre or cable!

    1. Matt says:

      Depends where you are 🙂 Virgin bought the old Sky network covering Woodville/Midway so it’s had presence for well over a year, they’re just building on that currently.

      If you’re near “4 lanes end” then 3UK just slapped a new monopole there – should give great coverage though its had plenty of negative comments online even though it’s nowhere near anything of worth.

      BT have definitely had some issues (blocked ducts / overloaded poles) – and some build quality issues. If you look at Hartshorne road, TELENT have fed 2 fibers between 2 poles (one is fed from the other, rather than being connected at the base) – and the fibers go either side of a lamp post, they’ve also lifted some Virgin cables up with their fiber (pulling them tight) around the same area.

      On the plus side, when my BT install was done, BT have swelled the engineer numbers in the area so I’m guessing they expect good uptake.

  12. Carl Farrington says:

    Is that Cheadle in Manchester then?

  13. Mike says:

    Any news on Ashbourne?

  14. A Axon says:

    wish my area would get better fiber connection its like a comment above council estates get done with virgin and bt and the rest just have to put up with FTTC at like 30mb

  15. Nex says:

    When they say Swadlincote I wonder if they mean literally just Swadlincote or will it include the surrounding villages such as say Linton, Coton or Rosliston.

    And what happened to the FTTH venture that Sky and TalkTalk were working on a few years ago in Swadlincote.

    I know the trial ended but did the trial only cover part of Swadlincote and did anyone take it on after the trial ended?

    I got a friend that lives in Burton / Stretton and his broadband has always been pretty poor but in that area my understanding is they used aluminium cables rather then copper back in the day.

    Im suprised Virgin didnt cover that area as well while they were doing Burton.

    1. Matt says:

      Re: Old Sky Trial:
      https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2019/05/abandoned-ftth-sky-broadband-network-scooped-by-virgin-media.html

      The old Sky network became Virgins, and they’ve been expanding on this recently (it’s not a new build they’ve been doing through Gresley – but adding to this network)

      Depending where abouts in Burton / Stretton. A lot of Stretton is pretty “new” (vs the rest of the area) and BT did seemingly do quite a bit of ali cabling around Burton.

      When Virgin rolled out across Burton, they did around by the town hall and down towards Shobnall and Horninglow. Virgin still have some works being done across Swad, might be worth getting them to check their local area vs “One.Network” to see what roadworks are around. Though be aware, if there’s no road incursion then it won’t be listed. (the BT works near me for FTTP was mostly done through footpaths and were not listed – only when crossing roads). A quick look shows nothing of interest in Stretton (but you can see where BT / Virgin are working – look for the “telephone” icons)

      I would not expect them to do Coton / Rosliston / Linton unless they’re feeding fiber from that direction in the first place (so theyre already passing) – tho it’d make much more sense to do those areas than Midway/Woodville. I already have access to two FTTP providers, so calling Swadlincote “forgotten” probably isn’t the right wording. Unless they specifically do mean they’ll do infill where Virgin/BT haven’t bothered.

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