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ISP Grain Extends UK Gigabit Broadband Rollout to Sunderland

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021 (3:02 pm) - Score 720
Grain FTTP Engineer from Behind

The coastal city of Sunderland (Tyne and Wear) has today been named as the next to benefit from Grain‘s UK rollout of a new gigabit speed Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based broadband network. But they look set to face aggressive competition from rival operators with similar services.

At present Grain, which was recently boosted by a £75m equity investment from Equitix (here), aims to cover 300,000 UK premises. As part of that they’re already expanding their network across parts of Leicester, Liverpool, Accrington, Grimsby, Scarborough, Carlisle, Barrow-in-Furness, Hartlepool, Newport and Blackburn, among others.

NOTE: Grain’s UK rollout aims to be delivered over the next 5-years (i.e. by 2026).

The latest town to join this list is Sunderland. Some of the streets being connected in the first phase of this deployment include those around Ormonde Street and Ewesley Road, and will include Mount Road, Cleveland Road and Colchester Terrace, with plans to expand to “thousands more homes in the coming months.”

Once live, new customers can expect to pay from just £25 per month for a symmetric speed 50Mbps package, which goes up to £55 for their top 900Mbps plan. All of these packages come with an 18-month minimum contract term, unlimited usage, free installation and a router. The provider also pledges “no in-contract price rises.”

Tracy Karam, Head of Customer Experience for Grain, said:

“The response from residents and businesses to what we are offering has been very positive, with many signing up to our service before work on their street has even been started.

Our service has become even more popular in recent months, as customers rely more and more on a fast, reliable and secure network for working, learning, gaming, and entertainment. We are pleased to be rolling out our offer prices to the residents of Sunderland, allowing them to experience the benefits of full fibre at unbeatable prices.”

The challenge for Grain, which has not said precisely how much they’re investing into the local build or how many premises will actually benefit, is that CityFibre recently committed £62 million to deploy their own FTTP network across the same city (here). On top of that, Virgin Media already has a gigabit-capable network across the vast majority of the area, which is currently being expanded.

Furthermore, the same city also appears on Openreach’s rollout plan, while rivals Hyperoptic and OFNL currently have a much smaller patch of FTTP in the area. Suffice to say, Sunderland seems like an area that could carry a much higher risk than some of Grain’s other locations.

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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.
Leave a Comment
2 Responses
  1. Steven Brown says:

    Great news!

  2. JuJu Bear says:

    Having only just moved back to the area this is brilliant news, I suspect they won’t target citywide coverage though. The area they are rolling out too has a lot of high density housing in the form of terraced homes (pretty middle class also), so I imagine that will be most of the focus of their investment.

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