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Lightspeed Broadband List Next FTTP Rollout Towns in Essex and Norfolk

Tuesday, Nov 30th, 2021 (2:30 pm) - Score 2,744

UK ISP Lightspeed Broadband, which is currently building a Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network across the East of England as part of a £300m investment (here and here), has today named the next batch of 5 locations – focusing on the Essex and Norfolk areas – for their rollout plan.

The operator, which is using Nokia’s 10Gbps (symmetric) capable XGS-PON technology and whole-home Wi-Fi 6 kit, plans to initially cover 100,000 homes and businesses by the end of 2022. After that, they also hold an ambition to reach 1 million UK premises by 2025.

NOTE: The company has also created a new HQ in the heart of the region at Spalding in South Lincolnshire.

Work on the new network, which got underway during April 2021, began in 10 locations across Lincolnshire and Norfolk in England (Boston, Bourne, Holbeach, King’s Lynn and South Wootton, Long Sutton, Market Deeping, Skegness, Sleaford, Spalding and Stamford). Since then, they’ve also expanded into parts of Suffolk and Essex.

By comparison, the latest phase adds five new towns, including Braintree, Halstead, Harwich and Manningtree in Essex, and Fakenham in Norfolk. New customers will typically pay £39.95 per month on a 24-month term in order to access their 1000Mbps symmetric speed broadband package, which includes a wireless router, no in contract price rises and free setup.

Steve Haines, CEO for LightSpeed Broadband, said:

“We are delighted to be adding five more towns to our second wave of build locations. Our aim is to become the East of England’s leading broadband provider and to focus investment on the region, in towns where there has been little infrastructure built by other operators. These five towns are obvious additions to our network build in Norfolk and Essex and strengthen our position to become the leading broadband provider in our ‘home’ region.

We have grown in an evolutionary way, at speed, bringing together an experienced team from across the telecoms industry. We are really proud that after only six months, thousands of customers can connect in our first wave towns, with thousands more being added every week, whilst expanding the build into our second wave of towns. We have also created a new headquarters right at the heart of our region, in South Lincolnshire to provide a locally based, first class customer experience.”

As we often see with such alternative network (AltNet) providers, the latest additions to their rollout plan also appear to include some areas that are already being targeted by gigabit-capable rivals. For example, both Openreach and Gigaclear are currently deploying their own FTTP networks across the town of Braintree and Hyperoptic also holds a small patch of existing coverage.

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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18 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Matt says:

    And? That’s pretty normal. If you look at BT/Cityfibre the way to ramp up premises passed is to have multiple pockets of work being done all at the same time. If they’ve hit a problem they may “stop” working in that area until its clear, to cause minimal amounts of disruption. (or more likely, to keep costs to a minimum by only needing equipment/subcontractors there for as few days as possible)

  2. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

    Yes, and a lot of sub-contractors only work in specific areas, so it’s not like you use the exact same engineering team for the whole of the UK, as that would be totally impractical. It is normal for all operators, except only the smallest players, to gradually deploy across multiple sites at the same time. Towns and cities may take years to fully complete, with areas going live in a phased manner.

    Operators also have to be careful not to build too much at once, since that tends to cause road chaos.

  3. Avatar photo James B says:

    Mark – Openreach are going to cover the whole country so it’s hardly surprising the alt nets will come up against their roll out plans…

    1. Avatar photo Steve Haines says:

      It’s not just about build plans it is also about the customer experience and the LightSpeed Way. Check out Life at LifeSpeed on our website

    2. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      @James. Yes, and we expect that (although Openreach are building to 80%, not 100%). It’s not so much about individual network overbuild, but rather the question of investment risk beyond 2-3 networks.

      We know from other countries and the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review (FTIR) that dense urban markets (cities) can potentially sustain around 4 gigabit rivals (or more if coverage is a patchwork with less localised overbuild), but this model doesn’t extend so well to smaller market towns.

      In short, the investment risk from having 3 altnets in the same space does increase vs cities, and we don’t yet know how survivable that will be long-term. In some towns we’re seeing 4 altnets planning total coverage and that doesn’t seem economically sustainable (not enough customers to go around), so there will be some business failures.

      The more aggressively competitive a market becomes, the harder it is to gain a return on your investment.

  4. Avatar photo Sam says:

    Sounds like these guys are the company that will buy people’s fibre who recently went into administration in Braintree.
    Don’t see it financially viable having yet another provider in a small town of Braintree with 3 other alt nets with cable in the ground!

    1. Avatar photo Bob says:

      Cable TV did not work out well and they had an exclusive area

      Having mutipler alt nets operating in the smaller towns seems to make no sense. I suspect it will go ther way cable TV did and they will consolodate into 3 or 4 companies

      We already have BT & VM , Sky one would have thought would be one but they seem to be late to the party

  5. Avatar photo Steve says:

    Thanks Damien. As you maybe aware we don’t build in the Summer months in holiday destinations. Build is well on the way and customer will be able to connect first quarter of next year. Register your interest below

  6. Avatar photo Steve Haines says:

    Thanks Sam – our plan is to become the #1 regional player with a high quality network and a brilliant customer experience that is simple, stress free and fun. Braintree and the surrounding area is poorly served today. Customers deserve Life at Lightspeed – check out our websites for more information.

    1. Avatar photo Greyscale says:

      Are you planning to expand into Dunmow (CM6)? It’s only a few miles from Braintree and currently only has FTTC available and not served by Virgin Media.

    2. Avatar photo Peach says:

      Poorly served by other FTTP providers?

    3. Avatar photo Lee B says:

      Are you going to cover Feering, Kelvedon, Coggeshall, Tiptree, Silver End and Inworth in this Braintree build? Failing copper network that’s no longer fit for purpose and all your competitors keeping avoiding the area.

  7. Avatar photo Stephen Johnson says:

    Hi Steve, good to hear about the expansion, though hopefully these won’t move Sheringham onto the back burner?
    Would love to start using full fibre at the earliest opportunity…

    1. Avatar photo Steven Paul Haines says:

      Hi Stephen We have started work in Sheringham already. If you look at our website lightspeed.co.uk we will update in the new year. Alternatively my email address is steve.haines@lightspeed.co.uk if you have any further questions. Steve

    2. Avatar photo Joanne King says:

      We are fully committed to the towns we have already announced and can confirm that we will be starting work in Sheringham early in the New Year. Please register interest and we will keep you updated on progress.

  8. Avatar photo GNewton says:

    Hi Steve, can you tell us whether your fibre broadband will include a static IP-address and support for IPv6?

    1. Avatar photo steve Haines says:

      Hi GNewton – Yes to both questions. Take a look at our Nokia electronics on our website at lightspeed.co.uk

  9. Avatar photo James says:

    Doubt we will see any progress before March in Skegness. Especially if they don’t build during the summer months. I will be extremely happy if we see some progress before then. No doubt Essex, Norfolk and others will be done before us!

Comments are closed

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