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Netomnia’s UK FTTP Broadband Rollout Hits 50,000 Premises

Monday, September 20th, 2021 (9:59 am) - Score 2,544
Netomnia_exchange_engineer

Netomnia, which recently started deploying a 10Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband ISP network (XGS-PON) and aims to cover 1 million UK premises by 2024 (here and here), has announced that they’ve already passed 50,000 premises and 20,000 of those were added in just the last two months.

So far the operator, which is being supported by civil engineering firms such as Light Source and MAP Group (UK), is known to have committed an initial investment of £150m to cover 14 towns (c.500,000 premises), with work having already begun in quite a few of those (Peterlee, Spennymoor, Cheltenham and Durham etc.).

NOTE: The first towns include Ashford, Barrow-in-Furness, Boston, Canterbury, Cheltenham, Durham, Houghton le Spring, Kings Lynn, Peterlee, Spalding, Spennymoor, Stockton, Stroud, and Wisbech.

The service itself is supplied to consumers via ISP partner YouFibre, which offers unlimited usage, symmetrical speeds, a Wi-Fi router and 24/7 UK based support. And there is no install fee, ‘activation’ fee or additional line rental to pay. Customers typically pay from £20 per month on an 18-month term for their unlimited 50Mbps package, which rises to £50 if you want their top 900Mbps plan.

Jeremy Chelot, Netomnia Founder and CEO, said:

“To have passed more than 50,000 premises in such a short time is an incredible achievement and testament to our people’s talent, drive and innovation, as well as to our construction partners’ vast capabilities and openness to new ways of working. I’m proud of the way we have risen to the challenge of providing networks that quite frankly embarrass the rest of the UK, with little fuss and disruption.”

However, we should point out that the operator, despite “aiming to prioritise cities and towns, previously left behind by other operators,” will also face competition from several gigabit-capable broadband rivals in a number of the towns they’re targeting (e.g. Stockton where Virgin Media, Openreach and CityFibre are also deploying).

Needless to say, building fast and being aggressive on price will be key factors in proving their model by attracting take-up away from rivals as quickly as possible. We should also point out that all of YouFibre’s Directors are also Directors of Netomnia.

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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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34 Responses
  1. Cheesemp says:

    Its funny how many operators say they will service towns left behind yet still seem to pick towns with other operators. I can find several towns around me on the south coast with zero options include VM in a just a few minutes using thinkbroadbands network maps (Some quite large). Why can none of these operators do so? I’m sure there are plenty of other similar sites around the country.

    1. Peter says:

      Scotland is pretty much the same, non of the smaller provider want to touch us even on the central belt. You might be lucky to get CityFibre living in a city but they have a mega slow rollout. God even rural areas are getting better broadband then small town of Scotland.

    2. Jeremy says:

      Netomnia is rolling out in many places where the only option is Openreach and therefore yes we do go to forgotten places 🙂 as you can see from that press release, the rollout is very fast and therefore we expand in regions where we can have more competitions.

    3. Gary says:

      Jeremy seems to consider that Openreach fttp somehow doesn’t count, Rolling out in areas where Openreach has fttp does not make that place a forgotten area. Its an area you’d be overbuilding.

      ‘the only option is openreach’

    4. Jim says:

      Also Gary – the article clearly states other competitors are targeting the same towns as Netomnia so the response from Jeremy re Openreach has left me a little confused

      – quote from article –

      ‘will also face competition from several gigabit-capable broadband rivals in a number of the towns they’re targeting (e.g. Stockton where Virgin Media, Openreach and CityFibre are also deploying).’

    5. Cheesemp says:

      Jeremy,

      I appreciate you taking the opportunity to respond. I will still suggest taking a look at the general Southampton area in thinkbroadband’s map and enabling all the FTTP providers (up to you if you include VM). You will immediately see at least one or two towns of 10000 people with zero competition for fibre (I’m not going to compare with OR FTTC when I’d take 4g over it if it was usable above 8Mbps in my house).

    6. Jeremy says:

      Drop an email at hello@netomnia.com and I will have a look at it 🙂 Regarding “forgotten”, the majority of our deployment is where there is copper only. Our first town was Peterlee and the majority there is copper and does not have Virgin Media or any other providers.

  2. David says:

    The photo is of a cabinet in a Openreach exchange.

    I’d be suprised if Ofcom require Openreach to provide exchange space to altnet providers? It would appear to be a cheap way for Netomnia to build their network that doesn’t have longevity – especially with exchage closures on the horizon.

    1. Jeremy says:

      Openreach does provide access to BT Exchanges, it is called the Access Locate product and used by Sky, Talktalk, SSE, and Netomnia.

      The exchanges used by Netomnia are part of the BT exchanges called Handover Points and therefore not closing.

      Longevity is not an issue, feel free to drop me a note if you want to know more.

    2. David says:

      Yes – it’s a FCP rack. Ofcom mandated access many years ago to the MUA areas for the purposes of LLU. I don’t see how an alt-net provider (if doing their own dig) can be considered LLU hence the question.

      Some of the GEA handover points are closing. See the table at the bottom of the following page:

      https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2020/12/openreach-consult-on-closure-plans-for-4600-uk-exchanges.html

    3. Jeremy says:

      It is very similar, we use Cablelink (which has been upgraded from 48F to 288F per cable recently) to leave the BT Exchange.

      Regarding the HOP, you are correct but only when they can aggregate an area. I am sure you will have noticed that in that list most of the BT exchanges that are HOP are in large cities (London, Liverpool, Manchester…) because they can aggregate them. None of our HOP can be aggregated.

    4. - says:

      Hi Jeremy,

      You absolutely are breaking the terms and conditions of access locate by using it in this manner. So it’s a risk you’re taking- openreach could give you 30 days notice to get out at any point and you’d then have to make alternative arrangements in that time. Hell of a risk – I wouldn’t take it.

      The openreach product that does allow this use is access locate plus, which is only available in a handful of exchanges at a huge cost.

      Let me know if you need help on finding the terms you’re breaching

    5. Jeremy says:

      I disagree but happy for you to show me, please email me at hello@netomnia.com

    6. David says:

      Jeremy – as the above poster says you are in breach of the FCP Access Locate T&C operating in this way. You need to pay for the Access Locate Plus product which is not regulated and likely to be refused.

      Is there a reason why you aren’t deploying active street cabinets?

    7. - says:

      Hi,

      It centres around the permitted use which broadly speaking is to aggregate openreach ethernet, GEA and copper circuits. Non permitted use is for private circuits and so on. I’m just saying have your lawyer read through and give you thier opinion. There’s a good reason most of us are using street cabs and Datacentres/FEXs instead even though the cost is higher. The prevailing opinion is that it is outside the scope of Access Locate (i.e aggregating External Cable Link, we think, does not count).

      Would be honestly interested in what your reasoning is for being inside the scope, if you’d be willing to share?

      Best,

  3. Jim says:

    Be interesting to know what their definition of homes passed is? Doesn’t look like 50k homes on think broadband

    1. Jeremy says:

      Definition is simple: a CBT overhead (pole) or underground (chamber) with light to the CBT from a BT exchange and an install being performed within 2h. We are very strict in our definition but I share the same concerns as you, too many operators are advertising misleading numbers…we do not.

    2. Mark Jackson says:

      @Jim. Worth considering that TBB’s ability to spot areas isn’t done in real-time and may be a little behind some deployments going live, albeit still more current than Ofcom’s data. So for rapid builds you might have to wait a bit longer until TBB has been able to confirm it.

    3. Jim says:

      Thanks @mark

      @jeremy can we get a breakdown of where the homes passed are? My guess is 45k in the durham/peterlee area and 5k everywhere else

  4. Andy says:

    They could add lot more, if people stoped winging about polls, I am in an Netomnia area, but development has stop because of too many people complaining about the polls required. Do people not realise that Openreach will be stopping repairs on coper if it requires a new line after 2025 if you area has Full Fibre.

    1. Jeremy says:

      We will find a way 🙂 It will just take us a little longer…sorry for that.

    2. Peach says:

      Polls or poles ☺️

  5. Martin says:

    Netomnia are building in my area in one of the towns listed, we have two exchanges though in the area that are only 2 miles apart. Netomnia are building around the town on one exchange, but they have also been doing some fibre work in the chambers where the other exchange covers according to the one.network website. They are also not the only Alt Net FTTP provider building in the area on both exchanges, I wouldn’t be surprised if Netomnia also build their network on the other exchange.

    Openreach have built some FTTP, but only on a new build estate around 3 years ago, the rest of the area has ADSL, FTTC and some G.Fast. This is the first time Openreach won’t be the only network provider, the two Alt Net providers are going to be several years ahead with their FTTP network build as Openreach aren’t going to have their FTTP build complete until around 2026.

    1. Jeremy says:

      🙂 We are coming and we will provide a better, faster, and cheaper infrastructure.

    2. Martin says:

      Thanks for your reply Jeremy, I would rather not say which areas they are on here, Lightspeed Broadband are building in both areas and you are building in one area.
      But as I have said earlier according to the one.network website you are also doing some work in the other exchange area which is not listed. Is the part normal practice or are you also planning to extend your network to the other exchange which is on the outskirts of the town two miles away?

    3. Jeremy says:

      We will extend 🙂

    4. Peach says:

      Funny I thought Netmonia used the same infrastructure as Openreach (PIA) and even down to the same CBT’s and joints?

    5. Jeremy says:

      Not exactly the same, we made some improvements 😉 but it is similar.

    6. Peach says:

      Come on Jeremy – there’s loads of reasons why so many AltNets use the same equipment and cables as Openreach, it’s quicker to deploy with PIA as it’s already been tested on the network and contractors who also work on the Openreach network don’t need additional training to install it

    7. Jeremy says:

      I agree but we do not use exactly the same 🙂

  6. adslmax says:

    @Jeremy for my friend – Will it rolled out DH7 7LB in Durham?

    1. Jeremy says:

      Yes 🙂

  7. Roger Bart says:

    Jim’s last comment about the spread of 50k homes is interesting. If it’s mostly around the peterlee area then the numbers aren’t impressive because Netomnia have been working there for 18+ months. I don’t think Netomnia have passed much in the other 10+ towns where the going rate has been slow

    1. Martin says:

      They are still building the network in my area and started around 6 months ago. One place I do know they have done a lot of work and Youfibre are now connecting customers is in Spalding and the surrounding areas. https://www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/news/broadband-provider-hopes-to-connect-first-customers-in-south-9210206/

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